Fusilli with Swordfish and Pistachios


After our weekend in Sicily, I had to experiment with some of the foods that we ate. The pasta with swordfish and pistachios was the dish impressed me the most and was also the dish who’s ingredients were the easiest to find in Rome. I loved he contrasting flavors of the swordfish and the pistachios, as well as the consistency that the meaty swordfish created with the dust of the ground pistachios.

The restaurant used casareccie siciliane, which were perfect, but I decided to use fusilli because I had them in the house and they worked perfectly.

swordfish in tomato sauceswordfish, tomatoes and pistachios

Fusilli with Swordfish and Pistachios

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic. Peeled
  • a 1/2 swordfish steak or fillet, skin and bones removed
  • half of a 14 oz. can of whole san marzano tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of ground pistachios (it is better to cook with unsalted nuts, which I couldn’t find and used salted, which were fine)
  • 1/2 lb of fusilli (or casareccie siciliane)
  • small handful of salt for pasta water

Heat oil in a deep skillet or a wide saucepan over medium heat and add whole cloves of garlic. When the garlic starts to simmer, add the tomatoes by squishing them in your hand over the pan to break them up and then add the rest of the liquid to the pan. Once the tomatoes have been brought to a boil, use the can to measure out the water and add to the pan. Once this has been brought back to a boil lower the heat to medium-low and add pieces of the swordfish. You don’t need to chop it up before adding it to the pan, you can easily break it apart with a wooden spoon.

In the meantime, fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Grind the pistachios in a food processor or a blender. Add them to the tomato-swordfish sauce, leaving about a tablespoon on the side for garnish. This sauce will dry out very quickly, but the consistency that you are looking for is pulpier than a more liquid pasta sauce, so you don’t need to add too much water, just a bit before mixing with the pasta.

Once the water starts to boil add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

When the pasta is perfectly al dente, turn up the heat on the sauce and drain the pasta. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and absorb the flavor.

Sprinkle the remaining pistachio grounds on to the plates of pasta and serve Immediately.


~ by italicious on November 30, 2008.

One Response to “Fusilli with Swordfish and Pistachios”

  1. Yum. I love any new way to eat pistachios! Just finished an Andrea Lee story called Sicily. It made me crave sardines!

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