Even though I didn’t actually have this dish while I was in Sicily recently, I did see it on menus everywhere and I thought it would be appropriate to include it in the series of Sicilian recipes I’m doing. The swordfish is cooked in a tomato sauce bursting with flavor of onions, garlic, anchovies, capers, olives, and cayenne pepper. This is an easy dish to make, as long as you lower the heat (or even turn it off) when you finish cooking the fish to avoid overcooking it.
1 swordfish steak of 300-450 grams (.66 – 1 lb)
1 can (400 grams/14 oz) peeled tomatoes
3 anchovies fillets or 10 cm (4″) of anchovies paste from a tube
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
120 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
1/2 Tbsp (or more if you like…) capers, rinsed and drained
4 Tbsp chopped pitted black olives
flour for dusting
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and cayenne pepper. Add the swordfish and cover it with the sauce. Turn off the heat and cook the swordfish in the sauce for 8 minutes, turning the swordfish once and covering it with sauce again. Turn the heat back on if the sauce cools off below 50C/122F.
Serve the swordfish on warm plates. Quickly heat the sauce remaining after having taken the swordfish out of the pan back up over high heat. Spoon the remaining sauce over the swordfish and sprinkle with parsley.
This calls for a full-bodied south Italian dry white wine that bursts with flavor as much as the dish, such as a Greco di Tufo. A Sicilian white could be appropriate, but many are a lighter style.