In this post, I’m sharing with you an Italian Christmas Eve fish recipe: Pesce Spada Alla Ghiotta from Sicily.
Make this swordfish recipe for Christmas Eve and celebrate the tasty and traditional Italian way!
CHRISTMAS EVE FISH DINNER
As you already know, in Italy, Christmas Eve is meatless. Traditionally, we can’t eat meat, so, of course, we created a bunch of Christmas fish recipes to make it still a gourmet, tasty night.
Every Italian region has one or a few traditional fish recipes for the holidays. As my grandparents were from Sicily, and as it is the tastiest recipe I know, I’m sharing Pesce Spada Alla Ghiotta.
PESCESPADA ALLA GHIOTTA
My favorite Italian fish dishes are usually salmon or swordfish recipes. This Sicilian swordfish recipe, with tomato and olives, is probably the best of them all.
Pesce Spada Alla Ghiotta is a traditional dish from Messina, famous for being the Sicilian city nearest to the peninsula, a little more than three kilometers from Calabria. The reason why you’ll often find this dish in Calabrian tables as well, especially for Christmas.
The other reason is that it is heavenly good.
A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR ITALIAN COOKS
A FISH RECIPE FOR CHRISTMAS EVE
As said, on Christmas Eve’s dinner, it is mandatory to go meatless (if not, you’re, symbolically, eating Jesus Christ’s flesh), so Italians go fishing… at the fishmonger. They use their treasures to make antipasti, pasta, and Secondi. They eat them raw, grilled, braised, fried, or oven-baked.
Swordfish recipes are more popular in the South: Sicily, Calabria, Puglia, and Campania. Fishy reigns of fresh ingredients and tomato seasonings.
This Christmas Eve fish recipe is perfect for busy and crowded Christmas dinners. You can grill the swordfish and prepare the seasoning ahead of time, then put them together at the last minute.
Pesce spada alla ghiotta
- 14-18 oz swordfish fillets (around 2 big fillets) 400-500 gr
- 3 peeled canned tomatoes
- ½ white onion
- 1 celery stalk
- 3-4 tablespoons green olives pitted
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Peel and thinly dice the onion.
Bring a small pot of water to boil and blanch the celery stalk (leave leaves) for less than a minute.
Remove it and thinly slice it.
Use a fork to smash the tomatoes.
Brush one tablespoon of olive oil over a grilling pan. Heat the pan a few minutes and grill the swordfish fillets for about 2 minutes per side.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet, add and brown the onion.
Add the celery, olives, and capers and, sauté for a few minutes.
Add the tomatoes and swordfish fillets, reduce to low heat, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. If needed, add a little water.
Serve the fish hot with all the cooking liquids poured over it.
more Sicilian recipes
Are you in love as I am with Sicilian food? Then check:
- the authentic Sicilian Orange Salad recipe (at least on my nonna’s opinion);
- the perfect recipe for homemade brioche (and granita);
- the pistachio pesto that will make you famous;
- another pesto (Trapanese), in case the pistachio wasn’t enough;
- the you-must-try-before-you-die caponata recipe;
and… dulcis in fundo…
- the cannolo cake (I don’t certainly need to sell you this one).
Enjoy your Italian Christmas fish recipe!