Linguine Piccole with Grilled Swordfish and Parsley Anchovy Sauce

Don't let a fear of anchovies keep you from this delicious dish. They give a roundness and depth of flavor rather than a strong hit of anchovy.

  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 small shallot, peeled, or 2 scallions, chopped
  • 8 flat anchovy fillets, or 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 pound swordfish steak, about 1 inch thick
  • 1/2 pound thin linguine, such as linguine piccole or linguine fini
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

How to make this recipe

  1. In a blender, combine the shallot, anchovies, vinegar, lemon juice, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Blend to form a paste. While the machine is running, add the 1/2 cup oil in a thin stream and then add the hot water.

  2. Heat the broiler or a grill pan, or light the grill. Coat the swordfish with the 1 teaspoon oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook the fish for 4 minutes. Turn and cook until golden brown and just done, 4 to 5 minutes longer. Let the fish rest for a few minutes and then cut it into bite-size pieces.

  3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine piccole until just done, about 9 minutes. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce, the swordfish, 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, and the parsley. If the sauce seems too thick, add more of the reserved water.


Variation Linguine Piccole with Tuna and Parsley Anchovy Sauce: Drain one 6-ounce can of tuna packed in oil. Flake the tuna and toss it with the drained pasta in place of the swordfish.

Suggested Pairing

A dry rosé wine would go nicely with the anchovy sauce. Look for a bottle from either Provence in France or, if you're feeling adventurous, Navarre in Spain.

Photo © Ben Dearnley Published May 2014

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