Mezze Rigatoni with Swordfish and Black Olives

This light and refreshing mezze rigatoni recipe from Nancy Harmon Jenkins’ and Sara Jenkins’ cookbook, The...
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Mezze Rigatoni Recipe

Michael Harlan Jenkins

This light and refreshing mezze rigatoni recipe from Nancy Harmon Jenkins’ and Sara Jenkins’ cookbook, The Four Seasons of Pasta, includes fresh swordfish, olive oil, tomatoes, and olives. 

Reprinted by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Sara Jenkins, 2015.

6
Servings
278
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 3/4  Pounds  swordfish steak, about one-inch thick
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4  Tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil, or more if needed
  • 1/2  medium onion, thinly sliced
  • garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2  Cups  canned whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  crumbled dried red chile pepper
  • 1/3  Cup  coarsely chopped pitted black olives, preferably Gaeta, niçoise, or taggiasca
  • 2  Tablespoons  salted capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1  Pound  mezze rigatoni or other short, stubby pasta
  • 1/2  Cup  mixed chopped flat-leaf parsley and fresh basil

Directions

Pat the swordfish dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and black pepper. Heat a cast-iron skillet until very hot. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and immediately set the swordfish in the pan, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes until a beautiful golden sear has formed on one side. Then turn over the steak and cook for 3 more minutes, by which time the swordfish should be cooked through but not overcooked. When the fish is done, remove it from the pan and set aside.

In a separate large skillet big enough to hold all the ingredients, including the pasta, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons oil with the onion and garlic and set the skillet over low heat. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, but do not let them brown. As soon as the onion and garlic are soft, add the chopped tomatoes to the pan, raise the heat, and cook rapidly until the tomatoes are thoroughly softened and melting into a sauce. Stir in the chile pepper, olives, and capers, along with about 2 cups of water. Cover the pan and simmer gently for about 30 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, break the swordfish into bite-size pieces.

As the tomato sauce finishes cooking, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add salt and the pasta and cook.

Stir ¼ cup of the parsley-basil mix into the tomato sauce, taste, and adjust the seasoning. Add the swordfish pieces to the sauce and continue simmering the sauce gently while the pasta cooks. Let the pasta cook for just 6 minutes. Drain, toss the pasta in the sauce, and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining ¼ cup parsley-basil mixture.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
21g
30%
Sugar
7g
8%
Saturated Fat
6g
25%
Cholesterol
47mg
16%
Carbohydrate, by difference
8g
6%
Protein
15g
33%
Vitamin A, RAE
82µg
12%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
2mg
3%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
69µg
77%
Calcium, Ca
35mg
4%
Choline, total
57mg
13%
Fiber, total dietary
1g
4%
Folate, total
18µg
5%
Iron, Fe
2mg
11%
Magnesium, Mg
27mg
8%
Niacin
3mg
21%
Phosphorus, P
133mg
19%
Selenium, Se
15µg
27%
Sodium, Na
81mg
5%
Water
196g
7%
Zinc, Zn
2mg
25%

Rigatoni Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Rigatoni Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.