Swordfish with “Almost” Puttanesca Sauce


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.




Tilapia is one of my favorite types of fish. I love it for it’s firm and moist texture, and when it cooks up, it turns a bright white, not to mention it holds up to any sauce you make with it. and for some odd reason it never overcooks!! I’ve had it many different ways, but this by far, is one of my favorites.

There’s much speculation about the origin of the name Puttanesca, which is slang for “ladies of the evening”. Legend says that they would make big pots of this to fortify themselves between “appointments”, and it is known for it’s very “spicy” characteristic. Yes, this is not a delicate sauce by any means, the flavors here are strong and bold!!!
There are many different versions of Puttanesca, it’s really very easy to make. I think the most important thing is to use quality ingredients, the main ones being tomatoes, olives and capers.Simply saute some olive oil with a good amount of garlic and onions till soft, sprinkle in red pepper flakes, add some slightly crushed tomatoes with a couple of handfulls of olives ( I used pitted Kalamata’s) and capers. You could add some oregano and basil, if you like, and as always salt, and a generous sprinkling of black pepper. Just let all the flavors blend for about 15 min’s or so, it’s a very quick sauce.


As far as the Tilapia goes, pan saute in a little olive oil till bright white, it just takes a couple of minutes.
So when you’re in the mood for something spicy and bold I hope you try Puttanesca sauce, it’s also great with pasta, chicken or whatever!!! 

Buon Appetito!!!