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Grilled Swordfish with Orange Fennel Bucatini

This is a simple dish prepared with complex flavors.  Bucatini is coated with a zesty citrus sauce that features caramelized fennel, garlic, and anchovies and is paired with seared savory swordfish flavored with orange, garlic, and chili peppers.

Prep Time:  20 minutes  

Cook Time:  35 minutes

Serves:   2 – 4





  • 2 (8 ounce) filets © Santa Monica Seafood Company Swordfish
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 large orange, zested and juiced, divided


  • ½ pound bucatini
  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 4 ounces kumquats, seeded and halved, or substitute 1 orange, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 (5-ounce) wedge aged Parmesan, grated


In cool water rinse © Santa Monica Seafood’s Swordfish filets, pat dry, and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Prepare the grill (medium-high heat). Whisk the mayonnaise, crushed red pepper flakes, grated garlic cloves, and half of the orange zest in a small bowl.  Brush the swordfish steaks with this mixture and reserve to side.

Remove tough outer layers and fronds from fennel bulbs and discard. Working one at a time, cut bulbs lengthwise (through root ends) into quarters, remove cores, and slice lengthwise into ¼-inch thick slices.

Heat oil over high heat in a large cast iron pan or Dutch oven until shimmering. Add fennel to pan in as even a layer as possible and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown underneath and starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, turn fennel over and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 5 minutes. 

Stir anchovies, garlic, red pepper flakes, pine nuts, capers, and kumquats into the fennel. Cook, stirring often, until anchovies are disintegrated, the pine nuts become golden brown, and the capers begin to burst open, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat, add the orange juice and zest as well as the other half of orange juice from the swordfish ingredients. Cover pot to keep sauce warm until pasta is done.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1½ cups pasta cooking liquid.

Grill the swordfish until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the steaks. Transfer to a plate.

Uncover sauce, add pasta, and ½ cup of the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Set over medium-low heat. Add 1½ cups aged parmesan and cook, tossing vigorously and adding more pasta water if needed, until sauce is emulsified and pasta is coated, about 2 minutes.  Divide pasta into large shallow bowls, top with grilled swordfish, and garnish with remaining Parmesan. 

Dig in and enjoy!


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