Delizioso! Swordfish Arrabbiata with Capers

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



  1. Begin by generously seasoning the swordfish with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over a high heat.
  3. 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.
  4. Transfer the steaks to a plate and repeat for the remaining two steaks.
  5. 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.
  6. Cook garlic and onion for about 2 to 3 minutes so that both soften.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!

Buon appetito!


🐵 Terence 🐵

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