Fusilli with Swordfish, Eggplant, Capers

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fusilli-with-swordfish-eggplant-capers

Fusilli with Swordfish, Eggplant, Capers

Even though this recipe might look very time consuming, it actually does not take that long to make! The swordfish cooks very easily, along with the delicious red sauce. This is my first time making pasta with swordfish for the blog, and I absolutely love the way it came out. The inspiration came from dining at one of our favorite Italian restaurants in the city- Caravaggio. If you haven't been there yet, I highly recommend trying it out. This recipe is my version of their pasta in which I use fusilli, a corkscrew shaped pasta, cherry tomato sauce,  baked swordfish and plenty of garnishes, including toasted pine nuts, home-made croutons, tiny basil leaves and of course, finishing salt. I also couldn’t forget to top the dish with Piment D'espellete, a beautiful spice from the Basque region of France and Spain that has a subtle, delicate heat with beautiful orange and red colors. For the sauce, considering we are still months away from the ripe summer tomatoes, I always buy medium size red cherry tomatoes on a vine. There is nice sweetness to them, despite the fact that they are still out of season. Melt three anchovies in olive oil, and add onion, garlic, harissa and lastly, tomatoes. Cook the sauce until the tomatoes are softened but not mushy. As I’ve mentioned in other recipes, pasta should really be cooked al dente, with that mild resistance when you bite, especially since you will have to continue cooking it a little longer in the tomato sauce. I precut the swordfish into half inch cubes, and simply bake the pieces in olive oil with salt and Piment D'espellete. The way to make any pasta really great is to add all the finishing garnishes at the end. Enjoy!

fusilli-with-swordfish-eggplant-capers-ingredients

Ingredients: fusilli, swordfish steak, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, onion, capers, pine nuts, basil leaves, dill, croutons, anchovies, harissa sauce, olive oil, salt and piment d'espelette pepper.

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For the eggplant: Peel the eggplant.

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Cut it in half and cut one half into planks.

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Cut planks long way into strips, then dice them into ¼’’ cubes. You will need about 1 cup of diced eggplant. Feel free to use the entire eggplant for the recipe but then sauté the eggplant in batches so that eggplant cubes can preserve the shape and be brown on all sides nicely instead of getting mushy.

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Diced eggplant.

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Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide-sided saucepan.

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Add diced eggplant and season it with salt.

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Cook for few minutes, stirring often, until all oil is absorbed.

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Then, instead of adding more oil to cook the eggplant further, add a dash of boiling water. Cook the eggplant on medium-high heat until water evaporates completely , approximately 2 minutes. Keep adding more water and cook eggplant until it softs and slightly browns  but doest become mushy, about 5 minutes longer. It should taste really good at this point.

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Transfer to a bowl.

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For the fish: Dice swordfish into 1/2 inch cubes.

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Prepare a small baking sheet, drizzle it with olive oil slightly.

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Then scatter diced fish over it, making sure there is some space in between fish cubes. Liberally drizzle the fish with olive oil.

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Season with salt.

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And red pepper, I like mildly spicy Piment D'Espelette.

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Bake at 400F for about 8 minutes. Check for doneness and set aside.

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Peel the onion.

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Cut onion in half. Then take one half and make two horizontal cuts into the onion.

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Dice the onion finely.

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Cut cherry tomatoes in half and cut out the white divot. Set aside.

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Make the sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same saucepan on medium low heat, add anchovies and cook for 30 seconds breaking them with the spatula.

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Until anchovies disintegrate completely.

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Add onion and cook for 3 minutes, until softened but not browned.

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Add garlic and harissa sauce, stir and sauté for 30 seconds longer.

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Add tomatoes, season with salt and sauté for about 8 minutes on medium-low heat, until tomatoes are softened but not fully broken.

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Add basil leaves.

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Cook pasta according to packaging instructions in a well-seasoned water until al dente. Then add pasta to tomato sauce, drizzle with olive oil and keep on cooking pasta with the sauce for about two minutes, stirring often. Turn off the heat. Add eggplant, fish, capers, and herbs, mix gently to combine.

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To serve, divide pasta between the bowls. Garnish with pine nuts, croutons, tiny basil leaves, lemon zest and sprinkle with Piment D’Espelette and flaky sea salt. Drizzle each plate with good quality olive oil slightly.

fusilli-with-swordfish-eggplant-capers

 

Bon Appétit!
Svitlana

Fusilli with Swordfish, Eggplant, Capers

recipe details

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. fusilli
  • 1 lb. swordfish steak, cut into ½’’ inch cubes
  • 16 oz. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled, diced into ¼’’ cubes (about 1 cups)
  • 1 small onion, finely diced (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 anchovies
  • 1 teaspoon harissa sauce or to liking
  • Olive oil
To garnish
  • ½ cup croutons, ½’’ inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1-tablespoon capers
  • Tiny basil leaves
  • D’Espelette
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Lemon, zested (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley/or dill, finely chopped
Equipment

Directions

  1. For the eggplant: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide-sided saucepan; add diced eggplant and season it with salt. Cook for few minutes, stirring often, until eggplant absorbs the oil. Then, instead of adding more oil to cook the eggplant further, add a dash of boiling water. Cook the eggplant on medium-high heat until water evaporates completely , about 2 minutes. Keep adding more water and cook eggplant until it softs and slightly browns  but doest become mushy, about 5 minutes longer. It should taste really good at this point. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Bake swordfish: Prepare a small baking sheet, drizzle it with olive oil slightly. Then scatter diced fish over it, making sure there is some space in between cubed fish. Liberally drizzle the fish with olive oil, season with salt and red pepper. Bake at 400F for about 8 minutes. Check for doneness and set aside.
  3. Make the sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same pan on medium low heat, add anchovies and cook for 30 seconds breaking them with the spatula, until anchovies disintegrate completely. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add garlic and harissa sauce, stir and sauté for 30 seconds longer. Add tomatoes and large basil leaves, season with salt and cook for about 8 minutes until tomatoes are softened but not fully broken.
  4. Cook pasta according to packaging instructions in a well-seasoned water until al dente. Then add pasta to tomato sauce, drizzle with olive oil and keep on cooking pasta with the sauce for about two minutes, stirring often. Turn off the heat. Add eggplant, fish, pine nuts, capers, and herbs, mix gently to combine.
  5. To serve, divide pasta between the bowls. Garnish with croutons, tiny basil leaves, lemon zest and sprinkle with D’Espelette and flaky sea salt. Drizzle each plate with goo quality olive oil slightly.

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