By Ippolita Douglas Scotti:
Involtini di Pescespada are delicious swordfish rolls filled with a mix of breadcrumbs and cheese. They are very popular in the Sicilian culinary tradition, where the swordfish is considered the king of the Mediterranean Sea.
Sicilian fishermen used to pray and enchant the big fish with ancient songs before catching it with harpoons. The swordfish hunt is maybe the most important of the ancient rituals of the magical island of Sicily.
This dish is fresh and light, with a flavor that is totally unique. Every Italian city has its own version of the recipe. In Palermo, they fill the involtini with pine nuts and raisins. In Messina, they dust the rolls with crumbs. You can try every variation—the results are always very good.
Involtini di Pescespada
1 lb (500 g) fresh swordfish
1/2 lb (200 g) of fine breadcrumbs
1/2 garlic clove
2 Tbs parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbs capers
1 Tbs lemon juice
Salt and pepper
2 oz (50 g) diced Provolone cheese
2 Tbs Extra Virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Line a baking tray with parchment and set aside.
Thinly slice the swordfish.
In a medium skillet, toast the breadcrumbs until golden and crisp, stirring to avoid burning.
Transfer to a bowl and add chopped garlic, parsley, capers, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Add the diced Provolone, season and toss.
Add a tablespoon of the mixture to the center of each slice, rolling the fish to make a roll.
Place each roll on the parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes then serve.
Contessa Ippolita Douglas Scotti di Vigileno is a true Italian—born in Florence, Italy, from a long line of eccentric Italian aristocrats, she has traveled the world in search of adventure, romance, and magical, mouth-watering recipes. "Ippo" loves Italian history, especially as it relates to food. Author of There's a Beatle in My Soup, Curcuma e Zenzero (Ginger & Tumeric), 101 Perche Sulla Storia di Firenze (101 questions on Florence History), The Grimore, The Magic of the Moon, and Magic Herbs (all published by Newton Compton Publishers).