Pan Seared Tuna with Rosemary Oil
In 2005 Sandy and I took a two week trip to Italy. We started in Venice and worked our way down through Tuscany, Rome and The Amalfi Coast to Sicily. We were married less than two years at the time and didn’t have children yet, so it was the perfect time in our lives for that type of trip. It goes without saying that there were many memorable meals along the way. One such meal was at Osteria da Fiore in Venice.
This recipe comes from my Cousin Sal and the dish is the centerpiece of his traditional Christmas Eve meal with his family. Chopping up the meat from the claws and including it in the stuffing is a really nice touch.
I am extremely allergic to shellfish, which would not be a problem if had this condition my whole life and I really didn’t know what I was missing out on. Unfortunately, this is not the case; I developed it as an adult, long after Shrimp and Lobster were entrenched near the top of my favorite foods list. When I first started having reactions I still indulged occasionally, considering the puffy eyes and hives minor nuisances. It was only after the reactions started getting really bad that I gave the food up altogether. It definitely wasn’t worth risking my life over. I can honestly say after quite a few years, I don’t really miss or crave shellfish any more… except for this dish. Whenever I see or smell good Shrimp Scampi I raise my fists to the heavens and curse this stupid allergy!
Pesce alla Paolo
Recently, we went down to visit my parents in New York. I needed to stock up on some essentials to bring back home to Connecticut, so my Father and I took a drive down to Arthur Avenue, the Little Italy section of the Bronx, to do some shopping. While there we stopped at Randazzo’s Fish Market and picked up some beautiful red snapper filets. When we got back to the house, he made this dish. Very tasty, and quite easy to prepare.
Pesce all’Acqua Pazza
I first had this dish at a small restaurant in Positano on the Amalfi Coast called O’Capurale and was very impressed with how flavorful yet light it was. Pesce all’Acqua Pazza means Fish in Crazy Water. Many American interpretations of this dish seem to take this translation extremely literal. They really accentuate the “crazy”, using it as an excuse to clean out the refrigerator and add all kinds of ingredients to flavor the water. I am not sure of the origins of the name, but I do know that all it needs is a simple flavoring of garlic, herbs, tomato, salt and a pinch of hot pepper as presented here.
Involtini di Pesce Spada
The last time I visited Sicily just about every restaurant I went to had a variation of these stuffed swordfish rolls on the menu. This is one version of the dish, it can also be found with a stuffing that contains currants and pine nuts. I’m a big olive and caper fan so this is the recipe I prefer.
This recipe is a very tasty shrimp dish, the key to which is making sure that it stays moist and does not become dried out. If the bread crumb mixture feels too dry, you may have to add a little more oil, use your judgement.
Swordfish Sicilian Style
This is my favorite way to have Swordfish. The lemon, oil, garlic and white wine marinade is quick to make and very tasty. Instead of marinating the fish up front for a long period of time, the marinade is cooked in quickly at high heat after the fish is cooked through.
Red Snapper Livornesa
This outstanding fish dish in a light tomato sauce with onions, olives and capers was always a big hit with Chef Paolo’s customers. It is also one of my favorite dishes to make at home, especially when we have dinner guests.