Sicilian-Style Swordfish and Spaghetti

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Capers and olives give this hearty pasta dish a robust, southern Italian flavor. Salt-packed capers are ideal for this dish; they can be found at specialty food stores and some supermarkets. 


  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced 
  • 1 lb. swordfish fillet, skin removed and fish cut into 3/4-inch cubes 
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano, or 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano 
  • 1 Tbs. capers, preferably salt packed, rinsed and drained 
  • 1/4 cup mild black or green olives such as niçoise, pitted 
  • 2 Tbs. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 3/4 lb. spaghetti 
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 4 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 


Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil.

While the water is heating, in a fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the swordfish to the pan and, using tongs, turn the pieces until they lose their raw color and are seared on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes. Pour in the tomato sauce and mix in the oregano and capers. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the fish is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the olives and heat through.

While the fish is cooking, add the 2 Tbs. salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta.

Taste the sauce and season it with salt and pepper; you may not need any salt, as the ingredients are salty. Divide the pasta among warmed pasta bowls. Top each serving with one-fourth of the swordfish and sauce, sprinkle with 1 Tbs. of the parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4.


Sicilian-Style Tuna and Spaghetti  Substitute 1 lb. tuna fillet, skin removed and fish cut into 1/2-inch cubes, for the swordfish.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).

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