Well, yes…and no…
Pesce spada alla ghiotta – swordfish Sicilian style
Fortunately swordfish is sold in portions, and for two people you only need two steaks…
For this traditional recipe from southern Italy (Sicily for sure, but also other parts of the ‘boot’ that have an abundance of this type of fish, such as Calabria) you are going to need: 2 swordfish steaks (total 300–400g), 400g tomatoes, about 20 olives (stone-free and cut in half), 1 garlic clove finely grated, 1 shallot chopped, 1 celery stick chopped, 1 tbsp capers finely chopped, 25g sultanas soaked in water, 25g pine nuts, 2–3 tbsp plain flour, and olive oil.
Also, to serve alongside, your vegetables of choice: we had 3 large potatoes – boiled for 15–20 minutes until just tender, drained and peeled, sliced 1cm thick, drizzled with olive oil and cooked in the oven at 200°C for about 1 hour. Plan the cooking time for your vegetable selection if you decide to go for something else, so that you can progress them alongside the fish.
Prepare your tomatoes in advance: dip them in boiling water for a minute or two, take out and peel (the skin should come off easily). Chop in small chunks, removing the seeds and excess water.
Rinse the swordfish steaks with cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Dust with flour and quickly sizzle in a pan with a couple of tbsp hot olive oil, just to sear. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan put another couple of tbsp olive oil and stir-fry the shallot, garlic, celery and capers. Add the sultanas, pine nuts, olives and tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes or so.
Put the fish in a baking tray and cover with the tomato sauce. Add a ladle of hot water if it seems a little dry and bake in the pre-heated oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. Serve with your choice of vegetables. Finger-licking delicious!
So, Salmon, crisis averted – because two swordfish steaks (which is all you need…) will indeed fit nicely in our favourite pan.