Bold, quick swordfish dish

February 13, 2013 

Tomatoes, olives and garlic are staples for zesty Neapolitan cooking. This tomato-based sauce takes only a few minutes to make and goes well with fish, chicken or beef. I have used swordfish, but any meaty type of fish such as tuna, halibut or grouper can be used.

I am often asked how do I know when fish is cooked. Fish takes only a few minutes to cook in a skillet. For this recipe, I used a 3/4-inch slice of swordfish. If using a thicker piece (1 inch), cook it for 8 minutes; for a thinner piece (1/2 inch), cook for 4 minutes.

If you are not sure whether the fish is ready, make a small slit in the flesh. If it is opaque or creamy rather than translucent, it’s done.

Fresh pasta takes only 2 minutes to cook. It can be found in most markets. Dried linguine also can be used.


Substitutions: This sauce can be used with sauteed chicken, beef or pork. If using dried pasta instead of fresh, cook it for 9 minutes or according to box directions.

Wine suggestions: A big chardonnay would be OK with this. But to me, meaty fish such as swordfish, tuna and the like go better with a light, fruity red wine such as beaujolais or pinot noir.

To buy: 1 small jar/can pitted black olives, 1 16-ounce can low- salt diced tomatoes, 1 small bunch fresh oregano or 1 jar dried oregano, 3/4 pound swordfish, 1/4 pound fresh linguine and 1 medium green pepper

Staples: Olive oil, minced garlic, sugar, salt and black peppercorns

Per serving: 522 calories; 24 percent of calories from fat


Serves: 2

1 teaspoon olive oil

11/2 teaspoons minced garlic (divided use)

3/4 pound swordfish (about 3/4 inch thick)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup drained, canned diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)

1/2 teaspoon sugar

5 pitted black olives

Heat olive oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic and swordfish.Brown fish for 2 minutes on each side. Add salt and pepper to taste to the cooked side. Lower heat and continue to cook 2 minutes or until fish is cooked through. It will look opaque inside, not translucent.

Meanwhile, place tomatoes, remaining teaspoon minced garlic, oregano and sugar in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high 2 minutes. Remove and add olives, salt and pepper to taste.

When fish is cooked, remove from skillet, divide into 2 equal portions and spoon sauce over top.

Per serving: 269 calories (35 percent from fat), 10.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated, 5.3 g monounsaturated), 66 mg cholesterol, 35.0 g protein, 8.4 g carbohydrates, 1.8 g fiber, 265 mg sodium


Serves: 2

1/4 pound fresh linguine

1 medium-size green pepper cut into 1 inch cubes, about 11/2 cups

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 cup reserved boiling liquid

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot with 3 quarts water to a boil for pasta. Add linguine and green bell pepper. Cook 2 minutes if using fresh. If using dried linguine, boil 7 minutes, add the green bell pepper and continue to cook 2 minutes. Remove 1/4 cup water from pot and drain linguine. Mix olive oil into reserved water. Pour over linguine and green bell peppers. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss well. Place on individual plates.

Per serving: 254 calories (12 percent from fat), 3.3 g fat (0.5 g saturated, 1.8 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 8.4 protein, 47.7 g carbohydrates, 3.7 g fiber, 6 mg sodium

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks, including “The Flavors of the Florida Keys” and “Mix ‘n’ Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes.” Go to

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