Maria Paolillo
April 2002


Credit: © Lisa Linder

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Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • On a work surface, cut the swordfish steak in half crosswise, then cut each half horizontally into four 5-by-3-inch slices. Gently pound the slices 1/8 inch thick. Cover and refrigerate.

  • In a heatproof bowl, soak the raisins in hot water until softened, about 10 minutes, then drain. In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, shaking the pan, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

  • In a shallow dish, soak the bread in the wine and fish stock for 10 minutes. Gently squeeze the bread almost dry. Finely chop the bread and transfer to a bowl. Gently stir in 2 tablespoons each of the raisins and pine nuts, 2 tablespoons of the fennel fronds, 2 of the anchovy fillets, 1 tablespoon of the capers, the Parmesan cheese, cinnamon and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Lay the swordfish slices out on a work surface and season with salt and pepper. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the filling in the center of each slice and roll up like a cigar, folding in the sides as you go. Secure the rolls with toothpicks.

  • In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of olive oil. Lightly dredge the swordfish rolls in flour, shaking off the excess. Fry 4 of the rolls over moderately high heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining rolls. Wipe out the skillet.

  • In the same skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the crushed red pepper, the remaining anchovy fillet and 1 teaspoon of capers and cook for 30 seconds. Add the cherry tomatoes and crushed tomatoes and cook over low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the olives, 1 tablespoon of the fennel fronds and the remaining 1 tablespoon each of pine nuts and raisins. Season with salt and pepper.

  • 7. Add the swordfish rolls to the sauce. Cover and simmer over low heat, turning the rolls a few times, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Set 2 rolls on each plate, remove the toothpicks and spoon some sauce on top. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of fennel fronds and serve.

Make Ahead

The sauce can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

A not-so-subtle white will blend the salty, tangy and sweet flavors in this Sicilian-style dish.