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Playing How to Make Paccheri with Swordfish, Capers and Olives | Rachael Ray

"We love this dish," says Rach. "We make it all the time, and it's a favorite of many of our friends. It's very Sicilian in all of the flavors and ingredients that are used." It's basically puttanesca (a spicy pasta with olives, capers, tomatoes and anchovies) with swordfish instead of the anchovies. "The fish is diced and spiced up and man, is it good!"  

But, if you're like Rach's sister, Maria, and not a seafood fan, read on. Rach makes this dish two ways. She leaves out the swordfish in a vegetarian version for Maria, adding a little extra tomato instead, as well as a little of the fennel and oregano spice blend. It's different, but just as good! 

For more pastas by Rach, check out her Rigatoni with 3 Pepper Sauce and Pumpkin Pasta


For the Swordfish:
  • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds swordfish, cleaned of skin and bloodline and diced ½ inch
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 1 ½ teaspoons EACH (½ palmful) fennel seeds and/or pollen and dried oregano
  • ½ (milder) to 1 (spicy) teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
For the Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • ¼ cup large capers in brine, drained
  • 1 cup pitted green and black Italian olives, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup white wine or stock
  • 3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup passata or tomato puree
To Serve:
  • Salt
  • 1 pound or 500 grams paccheri (fat, smooth short-cut pasta, similar to rigatoni)
  • ½ cup chopped parsley and mint combined
  • EVOO, to drizzle, if dry or to taste


Serves: 4


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta.   

For the swordfish, toss raw fish with seasonings and chill until ready to cook.

Rachael Ray 14-Inch Nonstick Frying Pan

Rachael Ray 14-Inch Nonstick Frying Pan

Rachael Ray

For the sauce, heat EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, in a large skillet, combine capers, olives and onions and sweat a few minutes to soften. Add garlic, stir in wine and reduce by half. Add tomatoes and passata and occasionally stir, about 15 minutes.  

To serve, season boiling water liberally with salt. Cook pasta 1 minute less than the package directions and reserve some of the starchy cooking water before draining or transferring the pasta to the sauce.   

While pasta cooks, heat EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, add seasoned fish and lightly brown. Add to sauce.   

Toss pasta, cooking water and sauce together for 1 full minute and serve. Add herbs and drizzle with more EVOO, if you like.