Swordfish Pasta with Shishito Peppers and Fresh Corn. The shishito peppers and corn give this pasta a global flair but as any Italian will tell you, the combination of pasta and swordfish marks this dish with Sicilian roots.
- 5 quart cold water (divided)
- kosher salt (as needed)
- extra-virgin olive oil (as needed)
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 pound shishito peppers
- 1 pound dried pasta (I chose conchiglie)
- 2 ears raw corn (kernels only)
- 3 tablespoon colatura (Italian fish sauce, may subsitute with Asian)
- ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
Brine the swordfish: Brine the fish in a mixture of ⅓ cup kosher salt and 1-quart icy water. After about an hour remove the fish from the brine, rinse it and pat it dry with paper towels, then place it in the refrigerator uncovered for at least two hours or up to overnight. This step is optional but recommended (once it has thoroughly air-dried you may cover it). Remove skin and bloodline from fish; cut fish into ½-inch cubes. Toss with 2 tablespoons oil and garlic. (Let fish cubes stand at room temperature 20 minutes before cooking continuing.)
Prepare the shishito peppers: Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high until smoking. Toss peppers with 2 tablespoons oil; working in 2 or 3 batches, cook until blistered on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Let cool 10 minutes. Cut peppers into ½-inch rings; discard stems. Using your hands, toss peppers to remove as many seeds as possible. Transfer peppers to a medium bowl, and toss with 2 tablespoons oil and ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
Boil the pasta: Bring remaining 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot over high. Stir in about ¼-cup kosher salt. Add pasta, and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost al dente, about 9 minutes (depending on the pasta).
Assemble the dish: Meanwhile, return the large cast-iron skillet to medium heat; add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add half of the fish pieces in a single layer; cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned and cooked through 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside. Repeat with 2 tablespoons oil and remaining fish. Return all fish to the skillet, then using tongs or a spider move the barely cooked pasta to the skillet along with 2/3 cup pasta cooking water.
Finish the dish: Using a wide flat spoon, lift and stir pasta gently until liquid thickens, about 2 minutes, adding another ⅓ cup reserved cooking liquid if needed. Remove from heat; gently stir in cooked and sliced shishito peppers, corn kernels, colatura, parsley, lemon juice, ¼ cup oil, and ½ teaspoon salt; toss gently to coat. Transfer pasta to a serving dish; season with black pepper.