Swordfish with “Almost” Puttanesca Sauce

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Typically puttanesca sauce is made with anchovies, mine is not. I have to admit I’m not a lover of anchovies, never have been. But with that being said if you’re fond of them you can certainly add them into this pungent and delicious sauce to top off your swordfish.

Try to seek out swordfish if you can, it’s a nice meaty fish, firm to the touch with nice texture and it stands up really well to the strong and bold flavors of the sauce, but if you can’t find it, try a thick piece of cod or any other firm fish you like.

Puttanesca sauce is not a dedicate sauce by any means it contains briny olives, capers, garlic and spicy red pepper among other things.


puttanesca sauce

I like using fresh cherry tomatoes in my puttanesca sauce, they keep their fresh flavor pretty much all year long, I prefer them over canned tomatoes in this dish, to me it really makes a difference in the end result.




This dish is easy to make with simple, quality ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry and fridge.

Perfect for Sunday dinner or even midweek because it doesn’t take long to get it on your table, serve it up with something green on the side like asparagus, green beans, spinach, kale or just a green salad of some sort.


I promise you that if you do skip the anchovies like I did,  you won’t even miss them in this intensely robust sauce, it’s a winner anyway!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Swordfish Almost Puttanesca
  • 2 swordfish filets
  • cherry tomatoes sliced lengthwise ( enough to fill your saute pan)
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, shaved
  • handful of kalamata olives
  • handful of sliced green olives
  • a small handful of capers, rinsed
  • small handful of chopped sundried tomatoes in oil
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • wine or chicken broth to loosen the sauce
  • olive oil
  • knob of butter
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • red pepper flakes, optional or to your heat desire
  • sliced lemons for garnish
  1. Salt and pepper each side of the fish.
  2. In a deep sided saute pan drizzled with olive oil and the knob of butter, brown the fish on each side for 2 minutes getting it nice and golden.
  3. Remove and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet add the onion and shaved garlic and cook till slightly golden and softened up, sprinkle with red pepper flakes to desired amount.
  5. Throw in your sliced cherry tomatoes with all the other remaining ingredients, olives, capers, sun dried tomatoes, lemon zest, parsley with salt and pepper to taste. Taste the sauce at this point to make sure it's flavored enough.
  6. Let it simmer low until it thickens up, if it gets too thick loosen it up with some broth or wine.
  7. again do a slow simmer until it thickens.
  8. When sauce thickens nestle your fish into the sauce.
  9. Cook it for an additional 5 minutes with a cover on the pan.
  10. Garnish with more chopped parsley, lemon slices and a drizzle with olive oil to finish it off.


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  1. This looks wonderful, Marie! Although when I make it, I’ll put in the anchovies. I’m a big fan… 😉

  2. This is such a flavorful, colorful way in which to prepare a meaty piece of swordfish. Thank you for the inspiration Marie!

  3. Marie – Another winner – healthy, delicious and beautiful to look at too. I really liked the way you responded to the comment from Chris too. Brava for such a thoughtful response.

  4. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that you didn’t purchase swordfish or any other seafood that wasn’t sustainable but not all folks do and or don’t realize that it’s even an environmental issue when reading food blogs, recipes, etc. Maybe just a footnote to that effect when putting recipes out there that may contain sensitive species might be helpful to those unaware.
    I think we should all be “concerned” when it comes to our food purchases!
    Thank-you for sourcing your seafood from a responsible seller.

  5. Hello Marie,

    I believe Swordfish is still on the endangered seafood list according to the Monterey Seafood Watch. Now more than ever with vanishing marine species, we also need to be careful in our selection when choosing seafood. They tell us we need to start eating lower on the seafood chain with species that are much more plentiful and don’t do any harm to the marine environment when harvested.
    You can download of copy of the Monterey Bay Seafood list for free to see which species are endangered and which ones are a good substitute.
    This recipe sounds like it would be good with perhaps cod..although not Atlantic cod which was at one time almost fished out to the point of extinction. Case in point!
    Thank-you for any consideration in helping our oceans stay healthy! 🙂
    PS. We just made a pasta dish last night with canned sardines packed in olive oil…So Good and very Sicilian!

    • Hi Chris, I actually purchased my swordfish from Whole Foods and asked them about all that, all their fish is monitored and tracked for those reasons.They also have acquired a high certification rating with all their seafood. Constantly keeping track of how they fish, when they fish and where they fish at what times. If you have a minute go to their website and click on the seafood tab, thanks for your concern.

  6. This is wonderful! And I still have lots of cherry tomatoes in my garden. Now to find swordfish. I’ll just be happy if I can find something fresh in the seafood department.

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