Swordfish Bagnarota style

Pesce Spada alla Bagnarota

Bagnara Calabra is beautiful, flexuously abandoned on the precipice of the last Aspromonte. And its women are promontories clinging to the sea, matter and wisdom. Always with her gaze on the sea and her body in the land torn from the mountain. A land full of smells, myrtle and fennel, thyme and oregano, the sugary scent of zibibbo wine under the sun and the eternal saltiness. Masters in the many faces of making, the Bagnarote seem to feed on this wisdom of theirs and show it with a certain clarity, with a mastery inherent in their bearing that seems to revel in this certainty. The women of this part of the world have something hieratic about them and perhaps this is why they have been collected since ancient times. They have always reminded me of the Amazons, a certain feminine root variously diffused in the area of the strait, which shows itself in other mythologies of the Violet Coast, among which the sad story of the monster Scylla stands out. The Purple Coast is female. It is also that its sensuality of excessive land, sometimes shameless in the glimpses of beauty, when the horizon shows the beautiful Aeolian Islands or its sister Sicily. This small portion of the world has only one fault: that of never being forgotten. So in the late spring evenings, when summer seems about to explode, I like to cook this dish, in an eternal return to the roads of my past. It resembles the proverbially beautiful Bagnarote, those fresh summer dishes that they cook by mixing land and sea. On the one hand, olives, capers, cherry tomatoes from the surrounding terraces, on the other, the swordfish that makes up the myth. Here it seems as if I am home.

I fry 4 slices of swordfish in two tablespoons of oil. As soon as they are cooked, I remove them from the pan and set them aside. In that sauce I fry the olives and capers. I keep the flame lively, for a few minutes and add cherry tomatoes, salt, a small piece of fresh chili pepper. I let it go for a few minutes to combine the flavors well and serve very hot.


400 g swordfish

100 grams of olives

20 grams of capers

100 grams of cherry pizzutelli tomatoes from Calabria or dates


a small piece of fresh chilli pepper

a few leaves of basil

a few leaves of parsley

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

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