From time to time I like to don my chef’s hat and cook something special. I’m always on the lookout for excellent food and ingredients – especially something I’ve never tried that I know will be delicious or an old favourite given a gastronomic twist. I was given this recipe by an Italian caterer who insisted it would have my taste buds singing.
What I really love about this recipe for Swordfish Arrabbiata with Capers is the sheer simplicity. Swordfish is delicious, meaty and versatile. I love that it is a tasty fish, but not so dominant as to be over-powering and that it compliments a range of Mediterranean flavours. As with all fish, buy fresh – as fresh as possible. Get out your red and white checked tablecloth, light a couple of dinner candles, invest in a bold bottle of red wine and a soundtrack by Dean Martin (optional).
4 swordfish steaks (not thicker than ½ inch)
Rock salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced but not crushed
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 tins of plum tomatoes, drained and mashed up
1 tbsp. tomato puree
100ml red wine
½ cup green Queen olives pitted and chopped
3 tbsp. pickled capers, soaked and drained
¼ tsp. chilli flakes
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Handful of roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Handful of roughly chopped basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
Dash of fresh lemon juice
- Begin by generously seasoning the swordfish with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan over a high heat.
- Working with two steaks at a time, add these to the pan and cook for about 90 seconds and turn them over. Cook for another 90 seconds. Turn again if necessary. The steaks should be a light, golden brown and cooked medium rare.
- Transfer the steaks to a plate and repeat for the remaining two steaks.
- Once all steaks have been cooked and put on the plate, leave the oil in the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Now add the garlic and onion.
- Cook garlic and onion for about 2 to 3 minutes so that both soften.
- Now add the tomatoes, red wine, tomato puree, olives, capers, chilli flakes, dried oregano and cayenne pepper to the garlic, onion and oil. Mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes. Let the mixture bubble but don’t let it overheat.
- Place the swordfish steaks into pan and cover them in the rich tomato sauce. Add the chopped parsley and basil and a dash of lemon juice.
- Cook until swordfish is cooked through and flaky throughout.
To serve, transfer swordfish to a platter and spoon generous amount of sauce over the top. I recommend having some delicious crusty wholegrain bread to mop up with or a side bowl of penne with copious amounts of shaved parmesan on top!
🐵 Terence 🐵