N’duja Swordfish Balls with Fresh Tomato Sauce


Only the Italians would care so much about their food that they often question whether swordfish is Greek or Italian ???

I once had this explained to me and it kind of made sense, so here goes. Once a year swordfish swim from Greece to Italy, the cooler waters around the western coast of Italy is where the swordfish swim to mate. According to informed Italians when the swordfish swim through the straits of Messina (between Calabria and Sicily) they are Piu Amoroso (full of love and desire) therefore their flesh is much sweeter and delicate than those swordfish caught in Greek waters.

Whether this is true is a subject of much debate, but the Italians believe it, and they are really wrong when it comes to matters of food.

Swordfish balls are eaten throughout southern Italy and its Islands, I have combined these traditional delicacies with the well known, super-spicy salami from Calabria, N’duja.

I think the N’duja gives the swordfish a fresh, lively kick . . . . see whatyou think??

2 swordfish steaks, skin and red parts removed, cut into chunks


pinch of salt and pepper

1 egg, beaten

100g Italian or panko breadcrumbs,  if using homemade make sure they are very dry

few sprigs flat-leaf parsley

50g N’duja (if you don’t have N’duja just add some dried chilli flakes to your breadcrumbs)

Zest of 1 large lemon

2 large cloves garlic

200ml  tomato passata

Olive oil

Lemon wedges and salad leaves to serve

(1). Preheat the oven to 180C/ Gm 6 . In a food processor, pulse the swordfish until coarsely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the lemon zest, salt and pepper. Using your hands roll the swordfish mixture into balls.

(2). Place your N’duja and parsley into a food mixer and blitz to a paste. Add the breadcrumbs and pulse until they N’duja and breadcrumbs are mixed together.

(3). Pour the N’duja crumbs into a bowl, then put the beaten egg in another. Dip your swordfish balls into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs, repeat if needed until the swordfish balls are well coated in the N’duja crumb. Place the swordfish balls on to a baking tray lined with parchment. Bake until they are cooked through and lightly browned in spots, about 15 minutes.

(4). Heat a little oil in a pan then add the garlic and sauté gently till softened, add the passata and cook for five minutes gently, till your swordfish balls are cooked through.

(5). Spread your tomato sauce onto a plate, serve the swordfish balls on top, add your salad and lemon and enjoy.


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