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Swordfish is wonderful’ Messina

Typical Sicilian recipe with video recipe

by Ada Parisi
5 min read
Pesce spada 'a ghiotta' alla messinese

For a long time I wanted to do the swordfish tempting to Messina, a typical dish of my city, Messina. To do so, though, need a good swordfish cut into large pieces, because this traditional recipe wants the fish is cut in tall, meaty pieces. To not give you a chance to make excuses, I also prepared the VIDEO RECIPE of the glutton of swordfish, I found on my YouTube channel.


Two words about swordfish

Remember the swordfish fishing period runs from May to October: in this period is the Italian swordfish, most of it coming from the Strait of Messina or the Lazio coast. The choice of swordfish is very important. I suggest you choose only swordfish fresh and of Italian origin (Sicily, Anzio, Ponza), compared to those of foreign origin. That are often frozen and on the origin of which there are less certainties. The other day I found the Ponza swordfish: It will certainly not be like that of the Strait of Messina, It is a sustainable alternative.

The ' greedy’ sicilian swordfish

The ' greedy’ It is a sauce that underlies many preparations in Sicily and a fried onion, celery, tomato, capers and olives. Sweet and sour becomes the basis for caponata or rabbit, without sugar and vinegar is used in sauces for fish such as swordfish and cod. Is, if you want to taste the pasta with swordfish greedy but spend too much buying big fish touches, try the recipe PASTA WITH QUICK GRAVY. And now I wish you good day!

Pesce spada 'a ghiotta' alla messinese

SWORD FISH AT A greedy MESSINESE (Sicilian recipe)

Portions: 4 Preparation: cooking:
Nutrition facts: 250 calories 20 fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


1 slice weight Straits swordfish 1,2 kg, cut into 4 pieces

two red onion of Tropea

3 sticks of celery

green olives in brine

a generous handful of capers from Pantelleria IGP

400 grams of chopped tomatoes in pieces

extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

a small piece of chili pepper (Optional)


Messina-style swordfish 'a ghiotta'

First look at the VIDEO RECIPE OF SWORDFISH IN GHIOTTA. Clean the onions and cut into slices not too thin, then Peel the celery eliminating the wires and cut into small pieces. Stone and slice the olives, desalinize the capers.

Place in a pan olive oil and a little water and add cold onion and celery. Stew vegetables over low heat, stirring often and, when they become translucent, add the unsalted capers and chopped olives. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Then, Add the tomato pulp. Salt and cook for about 10 minutes.

Brown the slices of swordfish in olive oil for a few minutes, until the fish does not change color.

Place the swordfish in Gravy, adding if needed very little hot water. Add salt and cook over medium heat for another 10 minutes. Let rest a few hours so that the flavors harmonize perfectly and heat gently before serving.

A Council: in Sicily with tomato sauce, that is always plentiful, We use spaghetti that, According to tradition, are sprinkled with pecorino, Although many people may dislike the cheese on seafood sauces. Have a good day!


THE ALTERNATIVE: In Sicily, in addition to swordfish with touches (remember that most of the touches are thick over the fish will stay soft), We also do chops a ghiotta swordfish: rolls made with thin slices of swordfish stuffed with a mixture of grated bread, pecorino cheese, Capers, oil and parsley, cooked in this sauce. To try.

MATCHING: Comes from Soave (Verona) the wine we chose for this recipe. And it is a wine produced by the company Coffele, with the classical nellel hills of Garganega. This Soave Classico Doc "Castel Carson" comes with fruity scents of Green Apple, floral scents such as acacia and light aromas of sage. With good freshness, the taste is distinguished by the final notes of almond, slightly bitter but pleasing in combination with the complexity of this Mediterranean recipe.

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Philip August 26, 2023 - 11:07

I do not know how he wrote this recipe titling it greedy of swordfish Messina. There are many things that a Messina would never do. We want to start with wine? whether Sicilian or French or German….it doesn't matter, the fact is that with the greedy Messina DOC uses red wine! Then the procedure and the amount of tomato pulp ….. maybe that's how it is done at home, but every house, every family, has its own rules….the fish should cook the fishermen……and I turned to them…..

Ada Parisi August 26, 2023 - 11:36

Hi, You did very well to turn to the fishermen who surely prepare it as you wish.. And since, as she says, every house has its own rules, I freely follow mine, she hers and all the others who will decide them. Kind regards!

Paul 11 November 2017 - 18:49

With all wines in Sicily the wine choices seems to me not quite Northern apt ! Regional recipe , regional wine …I am not a fan of chilli in fish .

Ada Parisi 12 November 2017 - 19:50

Hello Paul, not very much agree on regional recipe, regional wine, otherwise nobody would try anything new… the Sicilians would drink it only Sicilian wines and so on. Actually, and I told others that I have done so precisely, We try to let it out a little’ knowledge of food and wine, to continue the quality of Italian food product regardless of its zone. Combine a southern dish to a wine from the North wants to understand how beautiful and cross both the Italian food and wine heritage. Of course everyone is free to drink what he prefers, mine is just a suggestion. Do not argue about chili, even where, As always, controls the taste. A warm greeting.

Corrado 24 September 2017 - 11:56

Hi Ada, would you tell me your about pros and cons of the use of pine nuts and raisins in this sort of preparations?

Ada Parisi 24 September 2017 - 13:10

Hi Corrado, then. In Sicily in caponata, that's Eggplant, celery, Onion and remember the gravy tasty but in addition it bittersweet, many bring raisins and pine nuts. Is a common addition that I don't like but still you can do. I prefer the toasted almonds. In the wonderful, instead, I've never seen them raisins and pine nuts. Is a typical preparation of Messina and raisins and pine nuts are used especially in Palermo. You may also place them, I believe that the sweet taste of raisins do not go well to this kind of dish. But I'm ready to change my mind let me know. Good Sunday, ADA

Corrado 24 September 2017 - 18:39

Thanks for the clarification and the ideas. Dear! I'll let you know…

Ada Parisi 26 September 2017 - 18:02

But thanks to you, and let me know! ADA

Anna astolfi July 22, 2016 - 10:32

Fabulous recipe! I need some clarification about the pecorino. Fresh or aged? Cubed or grated?

Ada Parisi July 22, 2016 - 11:37

Seasoned and grated Anna! Best regards and thank you!!!

Serena May 16, 2014 - 21:41

Hi Ada, today talking with a girl of Messina, It turned out just wonderful that she prepares with sardines. accordingly, curious, I type greedy and I popped your swordfish as first result. I could only come to peep!! It will be yummy and you made me intrigued in no small! Have a good evening, Serena

Sicilians creative in the kitchen May 16, 2014 - 22:39

Hi Serene!!! But it should be, I didn't even know to be first in the results with the swordfish into drip pan… Watch is yummy and it is a very simple gravy to do. You can do that too with the rapier or with cod fish, but I've never heard someone who did with sardines. Let me know! One kiss, ADA

Adele July 5, 2013 - 12:16

Amazing recipe…I wanted to ask if this basis is also good for the tuna thanks ! Always good

Sicilians creative in the kitchen July 5, 2013 - 12:32

Hi Adele, certain, You can do that too with tuna or monkfish or with fish rapier, as long as it is a fish than meat ' substantial '. Good weekend and a hug!

Claudia Benazzoli July 5, 2013 - 11:05

I know Chiaretto :) but I'd be really curious to taste this amazing swordfish! Thank you for speaking of our wine!

Sicilians creative in the kitchen July 5, 2013 - 12:34

Hi Claudia, welcome! Talk about your wine, and especially drinking it, It is a pleasure to all my!

Simply Cooking July 4, 2013 - 17:56

I like much this dish! I like the swordfish and the sauce that comes out I think is awesome.
I also today are the swordfish, but I opted for the white rolls. The next one will be this :-)

Sicilians creative in the kitchen July 4, 2013 - 17:58

Hi Lalla! I love also the rolls in white: two different dishes but fabulous. And you, the sauce is fantastic! Kisses

Embroidery shortbread July 4, 2013 - 14:18

I love your repair, Perhaps because in all there is a fabulous land…envy!!!! Kisses Manu

Sicilians creative in the kitchen July 4, 2013 - 14:54

Thanks Manu, Maybe you also feel regret to have to leave… Kisses

Claudia July 4, 2013 - 13:07

…mmm…tonight I baby squid salad…but tomorrow…PROVOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Thanks Ada!!!

Sicilians creative in the kitchen July 4, 2013 - 13:11

Hi Claudia! Test and, I recommend, make two spaghetti with sauce (the next day, It keeps well in the fridge rather, becomes tastier). Kisses!

Roberta July 4, 2013 - 11:47

Omg Ada, I fell in love with a delicious in all its versions, and if I'd concede first stomach listento a nice pasta (with pecorino, If you say so I trust!) and then some nice slices of swordfish!
One kiss!!!

Sicilians creative in the kitchen July 4, 2013 - 12:17

Hello Robert! I assure you that is yummy and then quickly and easily. try it and you'll feel like you're on the Strait of Messina. Let me know if you like :-) Two kisses!

Valentina July 4, 2013 - 10:38

But you know I didn't know it was so?! Must be yummy… sweet and sour I love it but even so, with swordfish… what flavor! :D Congratulations, a strong hug and have a good day :) It's raining here! :(

Sicilians creative in the kitchen July 4, 2013 - 12:18

Hello Vale, you say that the base is the caponata but there is bittersweet. Is’ a yummy sauce and if you make swordfish cut high remains very soft. A big kiss!


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