Simple Sicilian Swordfish

simple sicillian swordfish

We’ve been getting a lot of swordfish recently. We probably order it almost weekly from our favorite fish supplier, Water2Table. This swordfish was caught in Southern California and it has been consistently fresh and delicious. You can see another one of our swordfish recipes hereThis simple Sicilian swordfish recipe has been on our to-do list for a few months and we finally got around to making it last week. Pesce spada alla ghiotta is swordfish cooked in a typical Sicilian sauce of tomatoes and capers.

We adapted our version from a recipe found in this book we brought back from our favorite cooking store in Rome. We had a jar of green olive tapenade in the pantry, so we used that instead of fresh olives, and our capers were from our visit with Mamma Agata.

We probably had more than a pound of swordfish, so we added a little extra tomato to the sauce. We use Mutti tomatoes for recipes like this. You can even order tomatoes from Mamma Agata and have them shipped to you straight from Italy!

The best thing about this recipe (other than how delicious it is) is that it’s a super-simple weeknight meal that you could also use for an easy dinner party. When we made it, dinner was on the table in less than 30 minutes and the only clean up was a saucepan and our large cast iron skillet. For something a little nicer you could put on the table at a dinner party, we like this, this, and this.

simple sicillian swordfish

We paired this recipe with one of our favorite (and accessible) Pinot Grigios from Ermacora (not Sicilian, we know). It worked nicely. However, the book suggests pairing it with Occhipiniti’s SP68 Sicilia IGT Rosso. We’ve had this wine on numerous occasions and definitely agree, but Arianna Ochhipinti’s wines are so amazing that you might have a hard time finding it in stock in your local wine shop!

Pesce Spada alla Ghiotta (Sicilian Swordfish)
  • One swordfish steak, sliced very thin (1/4-1/8 inch thick)
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 ½ cup tomato puree
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon of green olive tapenade (or a handful of green olives sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon of salted capers, rinsed
  • 1 chili pepper, crushed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Basil, chiffonade
  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until they pierce easily with a knife. When finished, remove from the water, peel and slice them.
  2. In a large skillet or cast iron pan, heat a generous amount of olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan). Add the onions and saute until very soft, then add the olive tapenade, capers, chillies, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Be careful not to over-salt, since the olives and capers are already salty. Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes.
  3. Immediately prior to serving, add the thinly sliced swordfish to the simmering sauce. Cook for five minutes, or just until cooked through. You can tell from the color when the fish is fully cooked. Be very careful not to overcook the fish, since swordfish tends to go from raw to overcooked really quickly.
  4. When the fish is just cooked through, top with basil and serve.

1 Comment

  1. Recently acquired fresh swordfish neck and belly strips. Fatty and very tasty cuts of the fish. Any suggestions on how to prepare?

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