Yes I should be packing, paying the bills and watering the plants but I just couldn’t leave without posting this one last recipe. In my pre-Sicily trip cooking experiment, this was one of my favorites. Simple, and oh so yummy. Dare I mention healthy? Anyway, enjoy, and the next time you hear from me I should be in Sicily experiencing the real thing.
Pasta with Swordfish
Pasta con Pescespada
Based on the recipe in “Sicilian Food” by Mary Taylor Simeti
Swordfish is a popular specialty of Sicily of which the best is said to come from Messina in the northwest corner of the island, just off the toe of the boot that makes mainland Italy. Not being much of a fan of mint in savory dishes, I was hesitant to try this dish. But since mint also seems to be frequently used in Sicilian cooking, I thought I should give it a go and I’m glad I did. I love this dish. The simple flavors of mint, tomato and garlic with the rich swordfish is a fabulous combination. If you are not fond of gooey cheese with fish, you can leave out the mozzarella. I didn’t think it added much.
2 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed through a garlic press
2 T olive oil
4 large, ripe tomatoes – peeled, seeded and chopped
Large bunch fresh mint, leaves chopped
Few sprigs mint – for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
12 oz swordfish, skinned and cut into 1 inch cubes
½ c water
1 lb bucatini or perciatelli (a thick, hollow spaghetti)
4 oz mozzarella, diced
Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the garlic. When fragrant, 30 seconds or so, add the tomato, half the chopped mint, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the tomato starts to break down. Add the swordfish and water and simmer over a low heat for another 15-20 minutes until the fish is cooked.
Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain and place it in a serving dish. Layer on the fish sauce, the rest of the chopped mint and the mozzarella. Mix well so that the cheese melts into the pasta. Garnish with the mint sprigs.