Saturday, July 20 2024

Sicilian Swordfish is a typical recipe from Sicily.

It is a seafood main course that is very simple and quick to prepare, but with ingredients typical of the region that make it a very special dish.

This recipe, also known as “Messina-style swordfish,” originates from eastern Sicily, specifically Messina.

The delicious sauce in this recipe is great for making scarpetta and can become a perfect sauce for pasta!




  • 4 swordfish steaks (about 5-7 oz each)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup canned peeled tomatoes (or fresh cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons capers (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of one lemon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)



Prepare the swordfish:

Rinse the swordfish slices under running water and dry them with paper towels.
Season lightly with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and sauté until golden brown.
Cook the swordfish:

Add the swordfish slices to the pan and sear them for about 2-3 minutes per side until a light crust forms.
Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.
Sicilian sauce:

In the same skillet, add the peeled tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes cut in half), capers and olives.
If using, pour in the white wine and let the alcohol evaporate for a few minutes.
Let the sauce cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until it has thickened slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the fish to the sauce:

Return the swordfish slices to the pan with the sauce.
Cover and cook over low heat for another 10 minutes, turning the fish halfway through cooking to let it absorb the flavors.

When cooked, turn off the heat and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
If desired, add a squeeze of lemon juice before serving.
This dish pairs well with grilled vegetables or a fresh salad.
For an extra touch of flavor, toasted pine nuts can be added to the sauce while cooking.

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