When it comes to food, there’s nothing better than a hearty Italian meal shared with family & friends. I have such a passion for Italian cooking and believe it or not there’s so much more than bread and cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore cheese, but we all know it’s not Paleo friendly. So tonight I am making a dish you would typically find in northern Italy. A flavorful roasted swordfish with eggplant, capers and tomatoes paired with an awesome Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Most people tend to reach for a white wine with swordfish, but keep in mind it depends on the type of fish and the sauce also plays a huge role in determining the right wine pairing. Swordfish is a rich, meaty fish and can definitely stand up to a red wine. For this dish, I mirrored the acidity of the sauce with my wine selection. The eggplant, tomatoes and rosemary are a great flavor profile to pair with the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. If you were doing a lemon sauce, I would stick with a dry white wine like a Pinot Bianco or Falanghina.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano comes from Tuscany and is one of three Sangiovese DOCG zones in the region. Vino Nobile is made from the Sangiovese Prugnolo grape whereas Brunello di Montalcino is made from Sangiovese Grosso and Chianti is made from the Sangiovese Piccolo grape. They are all different mutations of Sangiovese. Vino Nobile is also the smallest zone. This area produces exceptional wines that are typically medium-bodied with vibrant red fruit of raspberry and cherry, hints of anise and tea, velvety tannins and vibrant acidity. If you love Brunello, but don’t love the price tag, grab a bottle of this.
For tonight’s meal, I opened up a 2009 Corte alla Flora. I picked this up at Sirena’s in Norfolk for under $30. They offer 40% off the menu price for to-go wines. They have an awesome selection of Italian wines.
4 swordfish steaks
4 tbsp. olive oil
4 garlic cloves minced
2 tbsp. capers
1 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. sea salt
1/2 tbsp. pepper
1 red onion (medium dice)
1 eggplant (medium dice)
1-28oz can whole tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup dry red wine (Vino Nobile, Pinot, Chianti, Barbera)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine onions and eggplant and place on a sheet tray with 2 tbsp olive oil, a pinch of salt & pepper and roast for 45 minutes. Set aside.
Once veggies are roasted, heat olive oil in ovenproof dutch oven or large skillet over low-medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for about 30 seconds to release aromatics. Add wine and let reduce for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and break up with fork. Add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, roasted veggies, rosemary sprigs & capers. Stir until well combined.
Pat dry swordfish with paper towels. Season with salt & pepper. Arrange swordfish steaks on top of tomato mixture and bake for 12 minutes until cooked through. Toss in parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 4.