Pasta with Swordfish


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Pasta with swordfish, or Pasta con Pesce Spada, is a quickly made pasta dish popular throughout southern Italy.  It takes about 30 minutes to prepare.  Pasta con Pesce Spada is typically a one skillet dish in which the swordfish is cooked along with the sauce.  I prefer to cook the fish separately so that it is not overcooked and remains moist and tender.  The recipe is best made using sweet cherry tomatoes.  If the tomatoes are more on the acidic side, you can balance the sauce by adding a little sugar.  Preparation of this dish is quick, so it’s best to have all the ingredients ready at hand before you start to cook. 

Pasta with Swordfish

Difficulty Rating:  Easy
Makes 4 servings.

1 pound swordfish, ½-inch thick, skin removed, cut into cubes
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 to 4 anchovy fillets, minced
15 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup pitted black oil-cured or Kalamata olives
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
1 (16-ounce) box casarecce, busiate, or linguine pasta
Additional minced parsley for garnish
Cook the Swordfish:  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, over high heat. 
Add swordfish in a single layer and cook for 2 minutes, turn fish with a spatula and cook 3 minutes longer.  The fish should be slightly pink in the middle.  Transfer swordfish to a plate and set aside.

Make the Sauce:  Heat the remaining olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. 

Saute shallots and garlic for 3 minutes, until soft. 

Add the anchovies and saute until disintegrated. 

Reduce heat to medium.  Stir in tomatoes, olives, wine, water, and capers.  Cook approximately 15 minutes, stirring gently, until tomatoes have softened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the Pasta: While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta until it’s al dente. Drain pasta. 

Add Swordfish to the Sauce:  Add the swordfish and parsley to the tomato mixture. Season with salt and pepper.  If sauce seems acidic, stir in sugar ½ teaspoon at a time until balanced.  Simmer for an additional 5 minutes, until swordfish is cooked through. Stir in the pasta.

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