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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

Panino con Pesce Spada | Italian Swordfish Sandwich Recipe

This sandwich is a specialty of Scilla, a coastal Calabrian town named after the legendary monster which Odysseus is said to have encountered in the area. This delicious panino put the sleepy fishing village on the map, making it a European culinary destination. You'll understand why once you try it!

It can be served in a number of different ways. In this recipe, we'll show you how to make a sun-dried tomato pesto and eggplant relish preparation.

Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:

Makes one sandwich.

For this recipe, you will need:

- 6 sun-dried tomatoes

- 1 or 2 swordfish steaks (big enough to cover half the bread roll), cut about 1/2-inch thick

- Salt

- 7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

- Juice of 1/2 lemon

- 1/2 tsp dried oregano

- Fresh black pepper

- 1 clove garlic, chopped

- 1/4 white onion, diced

- 1/2 large eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch spears

- 2 tbsp raisins

- 1 tsp brown sugar

- 2 tbsp white vinegar

- 10 almonds

- 6-8 fresh basil leaves

- 1 ciabatta roll

Soak the sundried tomatoes in water while preparing the fish.

Place the fish steaks in a shallow dish. Lightly salt them on both sides. Combine 3 tbsp olive oil with the lemon juice, oregano and a pinch of black pepper. Stir all together, then pour this over the fish. Spread the chopped garlic over the steaks and allow to marinate while preparing the condiments.

Dissolve the brown sugar in the white vinegar. Set aside for later.

Bring 3 tbsp of olive oil up to medium temperature in a skillet. Add the diced onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until tender and slightly transparent. Add the eggplant spears and continue to cook until they are soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Add the raisins and vinegar mix. Bring to a simmer and cook until the excess moisture has thickened. Set the eggplant relish aside to cool.

Drain the sun-dried tomatoes and combine them with the almonds, basil and 1 tbsp of olive oil in a blender or food processor. Blend into a thick paste and set aside.

Bring a clean skillet up to medium temperature on the stovetop. Add the swordfish steaks into the pan, along with most of the marinade (save a little bit for brushing another pan). Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, flipping the steaks halfway through.

Meanwhile, brush a non-stick pan or griddle with the remaining marinade and bring up to a high temperature. Place the open ciabatta roll on the pan and toast until it begins to brown. Remove and set aside.

After the swordfish has finished cooking, transfer it to the hot griddle and briefly sear on both sides, just enough to lightly brown. Set the fish aside.

To assemble the sandwich, spread the tomato pesto over the bottom piece of the ciabatta roll. Place the swordfish steak(s) on top, then finish with the eggplant relish.

Buon appetito!

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Sep 01, 2021

Delicious. I had just made melanzane sott’olio so I added raisins and used that.

Warning, a lot of swordfish steaks are 1” thick so slice them horizontally first.


Susan Thompson
Susan Thompson
Aug 30, 2021

I can't wait for your cookbook! I love your recipes. They look so simple, flavorful, and satisfying.

I'm talking to Eva BTW.

American slices and Wonder Bread. 😂


Nat Violen
Nat Violen
Aug 28, 2021

can you make your recipes printable? That would be a great help.

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