Tonarelli con Pesce Spada e Radicchio


This recipe is all about umami, a delicious word that I discovered a while back and learned that one of my favorite things in life, the anchovy, is the umami of Italian food. My husband and I took a trip about 5 years ago to Sicily, right before we moved to Charleston and my husband had this pasta at a restaurant outside of Agrigento. I have tried to reproduce the flavor and after a failed attempt I realized that it needed the umami of anchovies to kick up the flavor.

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I also added a few winter tomatoes from our piennolo and used an egg pasta instead of the casareccie that we had in Sicily. Amazing that I remember that meal so well, almost every detail, it was that good.


Tonarelli con Pesce Spada e Radicchio

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion or shallot, minced
  • 3 or 4 salted anchovy fillets, rinsed
  • 3 or 4 winter tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 lb. swordfish steak or fillet, skin and bones removed
  • 1 large head of radicchio, white part removed, purple leaves roughly chopped
  • a few sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 1/2 lb of tonarelli, these are like a spaghetti, made with egg, any long pasta will work with this, but the richness of the egg pasta was wonderful
  • small handful of salt for pasta water

Fill a large pot with water for the pasta, bring to a boil over high heat.

Heat oil in a deep skillet or a wide saucepan over medium heat and the anchovies and the minced shallot. When the onions start to simmer, add the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes start to break down lower the heat to medium-low and add the radicchio, it will immediately start to wilt and change color. Add the pieces of the swordfish, you don’t need to chop them up before adding them to the pan, you can easily break them apart with a wooden spoon.

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. Using a tea cup, set aside a cup of water in case the sauce starts to dry out when tossing it with the pasta.

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.

Remove from the heat and toss in the fresh parsley. Serve immediately.


One Year Ago: Chicken with 28 Cloves of Garlic, Pickled Shrimp & Farfalle With Stewed Fennel, Artichokes and Peas

Two Years Ago: Signs of Spring

Three Years Ago: Agnolotti al Brasato, Penne with Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel, Pureed Potato and Broccoli Soup & Funghi Trifecta Risotto

Four Years Ago: Squash and Chickpea Moroccan Stew & Ziti alla Sorrentina

Five Years Ago: Farfalle with Salmon and Fennel, Soba Noodles With Tofu, Shiitake Mushrooms & Broccoli, Pesto, Gemelli with Fennel & Bacon, Salsa di Pistacchi, Tzatziki Potato Salad, Beet and Blood Orange Salad & Red Snapper alla Ligure

~ by italicious on March 18, 2014.

2 Responses to “Tonarelli con Pesce Spada e Radicchio”

  1. Great recipe. I love Sicilian inventiveness in the kitchen.

  2. Lovely recipe… I love swordfish and radicchio, and I think they marry very well in this recipe! Getting hungry here… 😉

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