Involtini di Pesce Spada

The last time I visited Sicily just about every restaurant I went to had a variation of these typically Sicilian 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 way I usually prepare them.

Salmoriglio, is a traditional Sicilian Marinade and it is very common for it to be served on the side with grilled fish to be drizzled on afterwards. It is optional with this dish, but I really love the flavor it adds, especially when you cut the rolls open and the juices soak into the stuffing.

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Involtini di Pesce Spada Recipe

  • Total Time: 35 mins



For the Salmoriglio

  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For the Swordfish Rolls

  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons capers, chopped
  • 12 gaeta olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 skinless swordfish steaks about 1/2 inch thick


  1. To make the Salmoriglio, combine garlic, oregano, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and mix well.
  2. Start a fire in a charcoal grill, or pre-heat a gas grill. Soak 4 wooden skewers in cold water.
  3. Combine bread crumbs, capers, olives, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and mix well.
  4. Place each swordfish steak between two pieces of wax paper and pound gently with the flat end of a meat pounder to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut each steak in half.
  5. Place about 1 tablespoon of the bread-crumb mixture near one end of each piece of fish and roll it up as neatly as possible, tucking in the ends. Thread the fish onto a pair of wooden skewers held parallel to each other, 4 rolls per pair of skewers.
  6. Brush the fish with the remaining olive oil and grill over high heat until
  7. firm to the touch, 8-10 minutes, turning once.
  8. Remove rolls from skewers and serve with the salmoriglio on the side for drizzling or lemon wedges.
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins


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10 Responses

  1. The recipe looks really good and since I love fish I will give it a try. I’m in Italy now and there are so many wonderful dishes to enjoy. I will add this to my fish recipes and give it a try. Thanks for the recipe.


  2. We sailed the Aeolian Islands this Spring and there is a rivalry among the cafe’s as to who creates the best Ivoltini Pesce de Spada. Many variations. One even had melted cheese. Next to Granite, this is perhaps the best in “typical” Sicilian cuisine. On “mainland” Sicily you will also find a carne version. I am going to try making it tonight after talking the local fish monger into slicing some up “appallingly” thin 🙂

  3. So I just had a delicious deninr with hubby complete with wine the swordfish was so light and yummy and I also used the same marinade/sauce on some scallops. YUM! definitely will make again. great recipe for the summer

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