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Seared Swordfish with Pasta all'Aglio e Olio

Seared Swordfish with Pasta all'Aglio e Olio
  

Summer is the time for swordfish in New England, as the fish move northward and the fishing fleet brings fresh fish to our local docks. Grilling it is usually my favorite way to handle a nice fresh steak, but pan-searing has its attractions. This preparation is based on Elizabeth David's succinct recipe called "PESCE ALL'AGLITA" (Fish in Garlic Sauce) from "Italian Food": "Slices of any coarse white fish, fried in oil, served in the following sauce: In a mortar pound a clove or two of garlic, add a handful of breadcrumbs, enough oil to make a thick sauce, and a little vinegar."

I added minced mixed herbs, some minced oil-cured black olives and some capers to her sauce. It was very satisfying, with some pasta all'aglio e olio, a salad, a crusty bread and a bottle of pino grigio.

Seared Swordfish with Pasta all'Aglio e Olio

2 servings

Ingredients

For the fish:

  • 3/4 lb swordfish steaks, 1" thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons panko flakes
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • 6 oil-cured black olives, pitted, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano or  basil or chives, minced

For the pasta:

  • 1/2 pound dried pasta
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh herbs, minced
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
Method

Prepare the pasta: 

1. Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling salted water until just al dente.*  When done, drain and transfer to a bowl.

2. Immediately add the garlic, herbs, salt, red pepper flakes and olive oil and toss to mix well. Keep warm if not serving immediately.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the fish:

1. In a mortar mix the garlic, panko, herbs and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Pound to a paste, then add the vinegar and mix well. Stir in the capers and olives and set aside.

2. Rinse and dry the fish steaks completely. Heat a heavy sauté pan over high heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon oil, spread it to film the bottom and immediately toss in the steaks. 

3. Cook the fish undisturbed on high heat 3 minutes. Then turn and cook 1 more minute. Remove to a warmed serving plate.

Serve the fish with a dollop of the sauce on top, with the pasta all'Aglio e Olio on the side.

*Note: Pasta al dente. From Wikipedia: "The Italian expression al dente ... describes pasta ... cooked so as to be firm but not hard. The term ... means "to the tooth" or "to the bite", referring to the need to chew the pasta due to its firmness."

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Comments

The swordfish looks delicious. My husband likes very few kinds of fish and swordfish happens to be one of them. I'm definitely going to do this one this week.

Thanks

I love swordfish, but have never had it with any kind of pasta. This looks pretty good. Does it matter what specific kind of pasta it is? Penne? Ziti? Linguini?

I may try this after the New Year's. Thanks!

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