Swordfish with Olives and Capers (Pesce Spada alla Ghiotta)

  • Serves

    serves 4


By SAVEUR Editors

Published on October 8, 2010

This dish, based on one from the book My Calabria, matches meaty swordfish steaks with a rustic, briny sauce of tomatoes, olives, and capers.

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Italian Comfort Food


  • 4 swordfish steaks (about 6 oz. each and ⅜" thick), skin removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups whole peeled canned tomatoes, drained and minced
  • ½ large green olives, such as cerignola, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp. salt-packed capers, soaked and drained
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 2 tbsp. roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice


Step 1

Season swordfish with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12" skillet over high heat. Working in two batches, add swordfish and cook, flipping once, until golden brown and medium rare, about 3 minutes. Transfer swordfish to a plate, leaving oil in skillet.

Step 2

Reduce heat to medium; add garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, olives, capers, and chile flakes and cook, stirring, until tomatoes soften and release some of their juices, about 5 minutes. Return swordfish steaks to skillet, nestling them in the sauce, and add parsley and lemon juice; cook until fish is cooked through. To serve, transfer swordfish to a platter and spoon sauce over top.

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