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Pasta with Burst Cherry Tomatoes and Swordfish

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The minute I tasted a dish similar to this one on the coast of Sicily, I knew I had to recreate it. Swordfish is a common ingredient in pasta there and adds such great meaty texture without weighing things down. As the tomatoes burst, they form a chunky sauce that pairs perfectly with bite-size pieces of fish. Casarecce is a short, twisted pasta that’s Sicilian in origin and becoming easier to find at major grocery stores these days, but feel free to use any short shape you like.

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Pasta with Burst Cherry Tomatoes and Swordfish

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  • Author: Stacie and Meghan
  • Yield: 4 1x



1 pound (454 g) swordfish
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 pints (about 4 cups, or 600 g) cherry tomatoes, or grape tomatoes
12 ounces (340 g) casarecce, or other short pasta
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup (60 ml) dry white wine
¼ cup (10 g) loosely packed chopped fresh parsley


1. Trim the skin from the swordfish and cut the flesh into bite-size cubes, ½ to ¾ inch (1 to 2 cm) in size. Season all over with salt and pepper and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large, high-sided sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to burst and release some of their juices, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Push the tomato mixture to one side of the skillet.

3. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute less than the package instructions for al dente, about 8 minutes.

4. Spread the swordfish in a single layer in the open space of the sauté pan. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom, about 1 minute. Flip the fish cubes and continue to cook on the other side until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Stir to combine the fish with the tomatoes.

5. Pour the wine into the pan and simmer, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits that may have formed on the bottom on the pan, until some but not all of the liquid has evaporated, 1 minute or less. Remove from the heat.

6. When the pasta is ready, reserve ½ cup (120 ml) of pasta water with a measuring cup, then drain the pasta. Add the pasta and reserved pasta water to the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook, tossing and stirring, until the pasta is al dente and the sauce thickens and coats the pasta, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the parsley, toss to combine, and serve.

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