Swordfish & Samphire tagliatelle (Tagliatelle al pasce spada e asparago di mare)

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Samphire is a plant that leaves in salt marshes and is in season, in the UK, roughly speaking, from May to September.
It’s got a bright green colour and an intense, salty flavour, and, used in moderation (because of its high salt content), can give an interesting twist to fish & seafood dishes.
Here I use it with swordfish and fresh tomato in a pasta dish, and it works beautifully in terms of colour, flavour and texture.
As usual, the most important advice with fish and seafood is that it requires minimal cooking, and this dish is no exception: your goal here will be to keep your swordfish moist and your samphire crunchy


INGREDIENTS (4 people)

360g tagliatelle
200g swordfish
16 cherry tomatoes
3 anchovy fillets
200 ml dry white wine (optional, you can simply use water instead)
1 tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
Finely chopped parsley
Samphire, cut in 1-inch pieces, a handful


Basic Techniques needed:
How to cook pasta

  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil
  2. Dice the swordfish steaks, you will need fairly small bits
  3. Chop the onion (see How to chop an onion in Basics), mince the garlic and chop the parsley
  4. Wash the tomatoes, prick their skin with the tip of a knife and plunge them into the boiling water in the pot you will use for the pasta, then put them in a bowl filled with cold (better iced) water;
  5. Sweat the onion in 2 tbsp. olive oil for 5 minutes
  6. In the meantime, peel the tomatoes and quarter them
  7. Add the garlic and the anchovy fillets and cook on low heat
  8. When the anchovy fillets have dissolved into the oil, add the tomatoes and the wine (or water if not using it)
  9. When the liquid has reduced to 1/2, add the samphire
  10. When the liquid has reduced to 1/3, add the swordfish and cook for 1 minute, till the pieces turn white on all sides
  11. Cook the pasta in plenty of salty water (see How to cook pasta)
  12. Add the sauce to the cooked pasta, sprinkle with finely chopped parsley and serve TIP: instead of cooking the pasta completely, drain it a couple of minutes before the cooking time indicated on the packaging and finish it off with the sauce, adding a few tbsp. of its cooking water to prevent it form becoming too dry; the pasta will absorb all the flavours NOTE: in this case you might want to add the swordfish when the pasta is almost ready to avoid overcooking it