Swordfish Pasta with Shishito Peppers and Fresh Corn. The shishito 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.
Pasta is still one of my “go-to” meals. With a little practice you can make the sauce in the time it takes for you to bring the water to a boil – precise measurements hardly matter at all. I find I can be creative as long as I stick to a few tried and true cooking techniques that ensure beautiful results with pasta.
Good pasta relies on much more than slopping a terrific sauce on top of quality noodles. The key to success relies on knowing how to bring the sauce and the noodles together with a little of the pasta cooking liquid to create a finished pasta dish that transcends the sum of its parts.
- Prepare a large skillet to accept the cooked noodles. It should contain the basics of your sauce or perhaps the sauce in its entirety. At the very least it should contain a couple of tablespoons melted butter and/or olive oil. It just depends on the recipe. See the swordfish pasta recipe below for an example.
- Boil 4 quarts of water over high heat and stir in enough kosher salt to make the water taste like the sea (about 1/4‑cup).
- Stir in the pasta and keep it moving around the pot for a few seconds so that it doesn’t stick together. Quickly bring the water back to a boil and then allow the pasta to cook until very al dente. The package directions will not be accurate. You want the pasta slightly undercooked. The exact amount of time will depend on your pasta. Use your best judgment. When the pasta is ready, use tongs or a spider to transfer it to the prepared skillet. Save the pasta water on the stove.
- Once the pasta hits the skillet keep it moving by stirring and tossing with any other ingredients in the pan. Now is the time to add about a half cup of pasta water.
- Bring the pasta and sauce mixture to a boil, adding more water as needed to keep the noodles in about 1/2‑inch of silky sauce. Depending on the recipe this is also the time to add more ingredients as in the swordfish pasta recipe below.
- Which brings us to the home stretch. As the sauce and noodles simmer continue to shake the pan until the sauce becomes creamy and emulsified, clinging to the noddles.
- All that’s left is plating, garnishing, and serving.