Rach uses the bright, sharp flavors of anchovies, capers and olives to enhance the tomato sauce used in this meaty swordfish pasta.
- 1½ pounds ½-inch-thick swordfish steak
- About 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- Salt and pepper
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped
- 1 tablespoon Calabrian chili paste or 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- ½ cup dry vermouth or white wine
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved, or 2 pounds peeled and seeded diced vine tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons capers in brine, drained
- ½ cup pitted green Sicilian or Cerignola olives, chopped
- 1 pound short cut pasta, such as strozzopreti, gemelli or penne
- A fat handful of parsley and mint combined, chopped
Heat a large pot of water to a boil for pasta, 6 quarts.
Trim the swordfish of skin and any of its bloodline that remains. Dice swordfish into bite-sized cubes about ½-inch square.
Heat about 2 tablespoons EVOO over medium-high heat. Add swordfish to oil when it ripples and wafts smoke. Season the fish with salt and pepper, and brown it about 2 minutes on each side. Remove to plate, douse with lemon juice, and loosely cover with foil. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining EVOO to pan, 3 turns of the pan, add anchovies and use a wooden spoon to break them up until they melt into the oil. Add the garlic and chili to the pan, stir a minute or 2, then add vermouth or white wine and let the sauce bubble up. Add tomatoes, capers and green olives, and cook over medium-low to medium heat, 15-20 minutes.
Salt pasta water and cook the pasta a minute less than package directions. Remove half a cup of starchy liquid from pot before draining pasta.
Add swordfish back to sauce to heat through when the pasta is nearly done. Toss the pasta with sauce, reserved water, fish and adjust seasonings. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls topped with parsley and mint.