Every Friday night I like to do pasta night. I love pasta dishes because they're quick to make and so satisfying to eat. And they don't at all need to be complicated. Sometimes all you need are a few pantry staples like canned tomatoes, capers, or olives to make a delicious sauce that doesn't take hours to cook. That's the true appeal of pasta.
Oftentimes when I don't feel like eating meat I'll whip together a vegetarian-style pasta or I'll make a quick Carbonara. Other times I'll make pasta with fish, adding seared cubes of fish to finish cooking in the sauce—you'd be surprised how wonderful fish is with tomato sauce. This recipe for pasta with swordfish is one of my favorites.
The best part about this recipe is that you use one pan (not including the pasta pot). Start by making the lemon and parsley crumb topping. Then wipe out the pan and sear the fish. And finally make the sauce and cook the pasta. Once it's all done, add the fish back to the pan along with the pasta to let the flavors mingle. Serve the pasta sprinkled with the crumbs instead of grated Parmesan, since cheese on fish is frowned upon by Italians (and I happen to agree with that assessment). Enjoy this dish for dinner any night—it's also great for Lent.
Linguine with Swordfish in Quick Tomato Sauce with Capers and Lemon-Parsley Crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated breadcrumbs (from dried bread)
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 pound swordfish steak, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon capers
2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
1 pound linguine
Warm 2 teaspoons olive oil in a sauté pan set over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and toast until light brown. Transfer to a bowl. Add lemon zest and parsley and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Wipe out skillet.
Season swordfish with salt and pepper.
Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in the same pan set over medium-high heat. Sear swordfish in batches until opaque all over. Remove to a plate.
To the hot skillet, add garlic, anchovy paste, and red pepper flakes. Sauté until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Deglaze pan with white wine and simmer briefly until alcohol evaporates, about 3 minutes. Add capers and tomatoes with their juices. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Add back swordfish and continue to simmer 5 minutes until swordfish is heated through. Stir in basil.
While sauce simmers, cook linguine according to package directions in liberally salted water until al dente.
Add pasta to pan and toss carefully to coat with sauce. Serve with lemon-parsley crumbs. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.