simple dinner: tomato swordfish pasta
This one goes out to the man's mom (hey, M!!) who introduced us to this dish over the holidays a few years back. It was one of those nights where we were meant to scarf down a quick dinner before running out the door to catch up with friends, and to be honest, we nearly didn't make it. The pasta--somehow both briny and fresh--was just so damn good that not having thirds (because seconds were a given) seemed absolutely stupid. We eventually tore ourselves away, but sorry friends — it was a quick drink, and the entire way home we prayed there would be leftovers. There were, and I've been grateful ever since.
You'll need (all based on two people):
- Whole marzano tomatoes, roughly 1 can (28 oz)
- Dry white wine, roughly a quarter of a cup for the pasta and the rest to swig while cooking
- Roughly 1/2 - 3/4 lb of swordfish
- Spaghetti (roughly half the box)
- Salt, olive oil, chili flakes
- Put on a pot of water to boil, and when you're ready add salt and pasta.
- Either chop up or squish up the whole marzano tomatoes into a pot. Using your hands to break them apart is our method, but if you prefer your kitchen not to look like a massacre, so be it. Add remaining juice (in total you should have a little over 2 cups). Simmer for roughly 20 minutes until it reduces to a fairly thick sauce.
- Chop up a couple cloves of garlic
- Trim off any strange bits of the swordfish then dice into cubes that are roughly .25 - .5 inch apiece
- Heat olive oil on medium heat, add garlic and a pinch or two of chili flakes. Sautee for a minute until garlic is just about taking on some color, then add swordfish.
- Sautee swordfish (keep stirring it around) for roughly two minutes, until it no longer looks raw (i.e. barely white on all sides)
- Add about 1/4 cup of wine to the swordfish and turn heat up to high. Stir around for roughly two minutes to burn off the alcohol. It should reduce down, but not completely since there'll be a fair amount of good fish juice going at this point.
- Add tomato sauce to swordfish sauce. Cook on low-to-medium heat for about 5-10 minutes.
- Drain your pasta a minute or two before it hits al dente, reserving a cup or so of starchy water.
- Directly add pasta to tomato sauce and let cook together for a few minutes. Add a bit of starch water as needed to keep it from getting dry and to bring the sauce together. (We typically end up using about a quarter of a cup, but it depends on how liquidy your tomatoes are etc.)
- Serve with a solid drizzle of olive oil, an extra sprinkle of chili, some torn basil, and a shower of flaky sea salt.
The real trick is that this pasta, while absolutely delicious the night of, is really, truly extraordinary the next day eaten cold. The first time, we thought it was because were just that hungry. The second, because we were heathens and the third, well — now we almost always make double to eat straight out of the fridge, swirling a fork through the pot.