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Penne with Swordfish, Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

This seafood sauce hails from Sicily, which boasts some of the finest swordfish in the world. Like most fish and shellfish sauces for pasta, it does not need cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and
      diced
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3/4 lb. swordfish fillets, any skin removed, cut
      into 1/2-inch dice
  • 16 Kalamata or other Mediterranean brine-cured
      olives, pitted and quartered
  • 1 Tbs. capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped if
      large
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lb. dried penne or spaghetti

Directions:

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute to release the garlic's fragrance. Add the tomatoes, oregano and water. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes break down and form a sauce, about 15 minutes. Season with salt. Reduce the heat, add the swordfish, cover and simmer gently until the fish is opaque throughout, about 10 minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, mash the swordfish into the sauce, breaking it up until no large pieces remain. Stir in the olives, capers and 1 Tbs. of the parsley. Remove from the heat.

Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, stir well and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), about 12 minutes or according to the package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, reheat the sauce gently over low heat.

Drain the pasta and return to the warm pot. Add the sauce and toss. Divide among warmed dishes. Top with the remaining 1 Tbs. parsley, dividing it evenly. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Classic Pasta at Home, by Janet Fletcher (Time-Life Books, 1998).