For seafood lovers like ourselves, our recent trip to Sicily was culinary nirvana. At Bed & Breakfast Mammaliturchi we feasted on one amazing meal after another, each authentically with passione and orgoglio by hosts Cico and Lola.
- Spaghetti al nero de seppia (Spaghetti with Black Squid Ink)
- Spaghetti alle vongole (Spaghetti with Clams)
- Pasta ai gamberi rossi (Pasta with Shrimp)
- Cozze al pomodoro (Mussels in tomato broth)
- Ostriche gratinate al forno (Baked oysters with breadcrumbs)
- Spigola arrosto (Grilled Sea Bass)
- Grigliata di pesce (Seafood on the Grill)
- Gamberi rossi al pomodoro (Shrimp in tomato sauce)
One of our favorite dishes, Spaghetti al pesce spada con pistacchi (Swordfish Spaghetti with Pistachio), captured the essence of Sicily, with the uniting of freshly caught swordfish with ground Sicilian Bronte pistachios.
Cico served the pasta with a Sicialian white wine, Inzolia della vineria Principe di Corleone. He generously shared his recipe with us to pass along to our Due Spaghetti readers.
one package of spaghetti
2 fillets of swordfish, preferably fresh caught
3 cloves of garlic
One large cherry tomato, or several smaller ones
One bunch of flat leaf Italian parsley
Ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper
Dry white wine
Toasted bread crumbs*
Ground Bronte pistachios**
*Quickly toasted plain, unseasoned breadcrumbs on the stove top in a small amount of olive oil, minced garlic, and grated tuna roe. Remove from heat, let cool, and store in an air-tight container. (Tuna roe, also called bottarga di tonno, is expensive and difficult to locate in the U.S.. Bottarga di muggine can be substituted, or it can be omitted entirely.)
**Bronte pistachios are a high quality Sicilian pistachio grown in the region of Bronte. If needed, regular pistachios can be used and ground at home in a food processor.
Dice the swordfish into small cubes. Set aside.
Mince the garlic and the parsley. Add each to a large skillet (big enough to accommodate the cooked spaghetti), along with a few tablespoons olive oil, a half-cup of water, a few dashes of ground black pepper, a few dashes of salt, and crushed red pepper to taste. Sauté over medium-low heat for several minutes. Add the cubed swordfish and the white wine and simmer for about 5 minutes, adding more white wine only if needed.
Remove the swordfish and set aside. Slice the cherry tomato(es) and add them to the skillet. If you have dry grated tuna roe, add a pinch or two. Let cook for 5-10 more minutes, pressing on the tomato until it deconstructs. Add more white wine and simmer to make a sort of reduction sauce. Add a tablespoon or two of crushed pistachios and another tablespoon or two of toasted bread crumbs, and a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Return the swordfish to the skillet, mix everything well, and turn off heat.
Cook the spaghetti in salted, boiling water according to the directions on the package. When al dente, remove immediately and drain well, saving one cup of the cooking water. Add the spaghetti to the skillet, turn the heat to high, and toss the pasta with the swordfish mixture, adding the cooking water gradually if needed to provide moisture.
Serve immediately with a dusting of bread crumbs and ground pistachio.
Buon appetito da mammaliturchi!
~Cico e Lola