Spaghetti with Swordfish Sauce

Spaghetti tossed with Swordfish Sauce is a southern recipe from Calabria, Italy. This quick and easy seafood dinner is ideal for busy weeknights. The swordfish sauce is effortlessly made with cubed swordfish, cherry tomatoes, red onion, garlic, kalamata olives, parsley, and extra virgin olive oil. Tossed with spaghetti, it is delicious and loaded with complex flavors that will have everyone raving.

What is swordfish?

Swordfish are typically described as sweet and meaty. Best part? It does not have a strong “fishy” flavor, making it a great choice for people who don’t care for seafood.

Swordfish is also ideal for children because it doesn’t have any bones. It has a dense texture similar to a steak and is less flaky than other fish.

This seafood dish originated in southern Italy where the local waters are abundant with swordfish. Atlantic Swordfish in the US is available all year long.

Nutritional facts on swordfish…

Swordfish are high in nutrients and protein. Also, they are low in fat and contain 0 carbs. In addition, they are loaded with:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • and 2 % iron

This recipe for swordfish is practically effortless, with as little as 10 minutes to prep. And the sauce is made in a skillet with 5 ingredients. (It cuts down on the cleanup time)

Then tossed with your favorite spaghetti for a very light, yet satisfying meal.

A fork twirled inside the center of the spaghetti in a white square bowl. by

Don’t Want Carbs? No problem! This is a recipe you can effectively serve the swordfish as the main dish, and maybe with a side of roasted asparagus to go with it.

Either way, you’ll love this easy recipe for swordfish!

How to buy swordfish?

If “Fresh” at a Seafood Market? Always ask the person behind the counter when did it come in? And, if you can sniff the swordfish steak. It has to smell “fresh” like the sea. If not, do not buy it.

If “Frozen” from Any Supermarket? Allow the steak to thaw completely before cooking. Follow the directions on the package. Then give it a rinse and drain it on a paper towel before cooking.

How to prepare the swordfish for this recipe?

Before Cooking the Swordfish: always give the swordfish steak a quick rinse under cold water and use a paper towel to dry it. Then, cut and remove the outer skin, and discard it. Cut the steak into 1-inch cubes or smaller.

On a white cutting board,  swordfish steak, and cubed. by

How to Make Spaghetti with Swordfish Sauce?

A few staple ingredients, and one large skillet, helps make this seafood dinner a snap!

Ingredients you will need for this recipe:

For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • extra virgin olive oil: good quality EVOO gives richness and flavor to the swordfish sauce it deserves.
  • red onion: offers a sweet flavor to the sauce.
  • garlic: Italians love garlic and it is a must with many seafood dishes.
  • cherry tomatoes: offer not only some color but flavor to the sauce.
  • swordfish: cut into cubes or small pieces.
  • kalamata olives: full of rich antioxidants, and have a distinctive rich, fruity flavor.
  • vegetable stock: this will provide some liquid as well as balance out the acidity in the sauce.
  • seasonings: the basic are sea salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Italian parsley: fresh parsley is a must for seafood dishes. It not only gives a fresh flavor to the dish, but it adds a lovely color as well.
  • spaghetti: 8-ounces (about 1/2 pound)

Quick Directions to Make Swordfish Sauce:

  1. First, prep and chop the vegetables. Next, grab a large skillet and heat extra virgin olive oil.
2 photos of black skillet with chopped onions and one with cherry tomatoes.  by

2. Saute the chopped onion and garlic in olive oil, until they softened, about 3 minutes.

3. Toss in cherry tomatoes, and saute for about 1 minute.

Swordfish tossed into a black skillet. by

4. Toss in the cubed swordfish and raise the heat, stirring and turning over each cube of swordfish to cook evenly. The swordfish turns from pink color to a white-opaque color. Season with red pepper flakes, and some sea salt.

5. Add in the kalamata olives, vegetable stock, and fresh parsley. Lower the heat to simmer for a few minutes more.

2 photos of swordfish and spaghetti in a black skillet. by

6. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil, and toss some salt into the water. Toss in the spaghetti (half of the package) and cook until it is al-dente (tender to the bite).

QUICK NOTE: It is best to “undercook” the spaghetti by one minute.

7. When the spaghetti is ready, use a “claw spoon for pasta” to help pull the spaghetti and transfer it into the skillet with swordfish sauce. Toss to combine. Drizzle some EVOO over the entire skillet. NOTE: If you need additional broth for the sauce, scoop some of the salty water from the pasta pot and stir it into the spaghetti mixture.

Then serve. … and Bon Appetit!

Questions and Answers…

1. Want more of a tomato-based sauce? Sure, just add additional cherry tomatoes to the recipe.

2. Can we make it more of a traditional tomato sauce? Yes, you can add 3 to 4 ripe pump tomatoes chopped, and it will give you more tomato sauce.

3. Can we add additional heat to make it spicy? Absolutely, you may add in additional crushed red pepper flakes to your taste. Also, you can use cayenne pepper in place of crushed red pepper flakes, to your liking.

4. What can we substitute for the vegetable stock? You can use chicken stock or white wine in its place.

5. Will my kitchen smell “fishy” when cooking in the skillet? Not at all. In fact, it will make your kitchen smell like an Italian restaurant!

Additional Seafood Dinners…

Plus, Additional Recipes for Swordfish…

Yield: 2 to 3 servings

Spaghetti with Swordfish Sauce

Spaghetti with Swordfish Sauce by

Spaghetti tossed with Swordfish Sauce is a southern recipe from Calabria, Italy. This quick and easy seafood dinner is ideal for busy weeknights. It's made with simple ingredients, ready in minutes, and big on flavor!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves - chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 14 to 16 cherry tomatoes - cut in halves
  • 1 swordfish steak (about 3/4 pound) - cut into (1/2 to 1-inch) cubes
  • 7 kalamata olives - pitted and cut in halves
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • fresh chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 8-ounces (1/2 pound) of spaghetti (or GF)


  1. First, sprinkle over the cubes of swordfish with some sea salt and garlic powder. Set them aside.
  2. In a large deep skillet, heat olive oil on moderate heat and toss in the chopped onion and garlic. Saute for a few minutes, occasionally stirring, until the onion softens.
  3. Toss in the cherry tomatoes, crushed red pepper flakes, and cubed swordfish, and sprinkle with sea salt. Cook until the swordfish is fully cooked, about 3 minutes, stirring often turning the cubes over to cook evenly on all sides.
  4. Toss in the kalamata olives, and fresh parsley. Then pour in vegetable stock. Simmer on low heat for an additional 3 minutes. Optional: add some fresh cracked black pepper, to taste. Turn off the heat. Taste the sauce, and adjust for seasonings, if needed.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a pasta pot filled with water to a boil. Toss in 1 teaspoon of salt. When the water comes to a full boil, toss in the spaghetti and stir. Cook spaghetti until al-dente.
  6. Use a "claw" spaghetti spoon to pull the spaghetti, allow it to drain in the pasta pot, then transfer it over to the skillet.
  7. Toss and mix the spaghetti with the swordfish sauce in the skillet. Next, drizzle an additional tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over the entire pasta in the skillet, and toss to combine. NOTE: if you need to add some salty pasta water to the sauce, you can. Stir in about 1/4 cup.
  8. Spoon into pasta dishes, and serve immediately.

Serves 2 to 3 servings

Nutrition Information:


2 to 3 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 553Total Fat: 23gCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 3.2gSugar: 7.8gProtein: 27g

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xo anna and liz

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  1. looks tasty! Fish is so good for you; i tend to throw it in many dishes. I’d have to leave out the tomatoes though :=)

    1. Thank you so much, Ernie!! So nice to hear that, and thank you for subscribing! Have a great weekend! 🙂