Home » Favourite Foods » Montalbano Fish Recipes

Montalbano Fish Recipes

Spread with friends and followers!

A good plate of pasta with tomato sauce seems to be an icon of Italian food. However, when watching the TV series Inspector Montalbano, you will notice that he never eats pasta with tomato sauce. Most of the pasta Montalbano eats have fish and no tomato sauce, or they are pasta with vegetables. In this article, we tell you Montalbano Fish Recipes, including Pasta with sardines, Arancini stuffed with seafood, Montalbano Swordfish recipe, Linguine with Squid Ink, Mussel Soup (Zuppa di Cozze), and grilled Sea Beam Fish Orata.

What are Inspector Montalbano’s Italian Food Specialties?

The protagonist in a series of detective books by Italian novelist Andrea Camilleri is Inspector Salvo Montalbano. Inspector Montalbano is portrayed in the books as a foodie who has a special taste for traditional Sicilian delicacies. He mentions a few of his favourite dishes in the novels and during the episodes of the TV series Inspector Montalbano is easy to watch some Montalbano Fish Recipes traditional in the Italian Food Specialties, particularly in Sicily, including:

  • Pasta with sardines: Sardines, pasta, fennel, raisins, and pine nuts make up the classic Sicilian meal known as “pasta con sardine“. Inspector Montalbano is known to have a special weakness for this dish and frequently eats it.
  • Fried rice balls known as arancini are a popular food in Sicily. These delectable sweets are frequently described as one of Inspector Montalbano’s favourite dishes in the novels, and he is known to like them. Although in the TV Series Inspector Montalbano, we saw Salvo Montalbano choosing Ragu Arancini, Arancini stuffed with seafood is very popular in Sicily as well.
  • Swordfish, baked or grilled.
  • Mussel Soup
  • Linguine with Squid Ink
  • Orata Sea Beam Fish
Inspector Montalbano's Italian Food Specialties
Inspector Montalbano’s Italian Food Specialties

Montalbano Fish Recipes: Swordfish Sicilian Style

Let’s see the first Inspector Montalbano’s Italian Food Specialties on our list of Montalbano Fish Recipes.

In Sicily, swordfish is a common kind of fish, and Inspector Montalbano is rumoured to like it baked or grilled.

Sicilian-style swordfish can be prepared in a variety of ways, but one classic method is to bake it with a flavourful tomato sauce. Here are two Montalbano Fish Recipes with Swordfish you can try:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound swordfish steak
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 177 °C (350 °F).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, red wine, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper to the saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Place the swordfish steak in a baking dish and pour the tomato sauce over it, turning to coat both sides.
  5. Bake the swordfish in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  6. Serve the swordfish hot, garnished with your choice of side dishes.

Grilled Swordfish with No Tomato Sauce

If you preferred Grilled swordfish with No Tomato Sauce, here is another fish recipe. Here’s another Montalbano fish recipe you can try:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound swordfish steak
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place the swordfish steak in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over it, turning to coat both sides. Let the swordfish marinate for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Lightly oil the grill grates. Place the swordfish on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  5. Serve the grilled swordfish hot, garnished with lemon wedges and your choice of side dishes.
Grilled Swordfish sicilian recipe
Montalbano Fish Recipes: Grilled Swordfish

How To Cook Sardines Tasty?

Sardines are one of the favorite Montalbano’s Italian food specialties. Sardines are small, flavorful fish that are often grilled or baked and can be a tasty and nutritious addition to your diet.

Here are a few simple recipe ideas for how to cook sardines:

Grilled sardines: To grill sardines, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Season the sardines with olive oil, salt, and pepper and place them on the grill grates. Grill the sardines for 3-4 minutes on each side, until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve the sardines hot, garnished with lemon wedges and fresh herbs if desired.

Baked sardines: To bake sardines, preheat your oven to 200 °C (400 °F). Place the sardines in a baking dish and season them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake the sardines for 8-10 minutes, until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve the sardines hot, garnished with lemon wedges and fresh herbs if desired.

Pan-fried sardines: To pan-fry sardines, heat a bit of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Season the sardines with salt and pepper and place them in the pan. Cook the sardines for 2-3 minutes on each side, until the flesh, is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve the sardines hot, garnished with lemon wedges and fresh herbs if desired.

Whichever cooking method you choose, be sure to use fresh sardines for the best flavour and texture. Sardines are a flavourful, nutritious fish that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes.

Montalbano Fish Recipes: Pasta with Sardines Pasta Con Sardine?

Let’s see one of the most popular Montalbano fish recipes: Pasta Con Sardine.

Pasta with sardines is a simple and flavourful dish that is perfect for a quick and easy meal. Here is a basic recipe for pasta with sardines:

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz pasta of your choice (such as spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine)
  • 1 can of sardines in olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  2. In a separate pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook for 1 or 2 minutes until fragrant and golden.
  3. Add the sardines to the pan, breaking them up into smaller pieces with a fork. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the sardines are heated through.
  4. Add the white wine to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until the alcohol has evaporated.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the pan, along with the cooked pasta. Toss to combine.
  6. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

This recipe yields 4 servings of pasta with sardines. You can adjust the ingredients and proportions to suit your taste.

pasta with sardines montalbano
Inspector Montalbano’s Italian Food Specialties: Pasta con Sardine

You can also add other ingredients to the dish, such as cherry tomatoes, olives, or capers very popular in Sicily, and transform the Pasta Con Sardine of our list of Montalbano Fish Recipes.

Montalbano Fish Recipes: Linguine with Squid Ink

Linguine with squid ink is a flavorful and visually striking pasta dish that is perfect for a special occasion or a luxurious meal.

Let’s see more Montalbano fish recipes: linguine with squid ink.

linguine with squid ink montalbano fish recipes

What is the difference between spaghetti & linguine?

Spaghetti and linguine are both types of pasta that are made from wheat flour and water. They are both long, thin strands of pasta, but they have slightly different shapes.

Spaghetti is round and thin, while linguine is flat and thin. Spaghetti is typically about 0.9 cm in diameter, while linguine is about 0.1 cm wide. The shape of the pasta can affect how it holds onto sauces, and some people prefer one over the other for this reason.

Overall, the main difference between spaghetti and linguine is their shape. Spaghetti and fettuccini are good substitutes when linguini is not available. They can be used in similar types of dishes, but the shape may affect how the pasta holds onto sauces and other ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz linguini pasta
  • 2 tbsp squid ink
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine (Pinot Grigio, Fiano, Grillo, and Catarratto are typical Sicilian choices)
  • 1/2 cup seafood broth
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Dry white wines are frequently used in Sicilian cookery to provide acidity and depth of flavor to meals. Pinot Grigio, Fiano, Grillo, and Catarratto are among the typical types used in Sicilian cuisine.

Pinot Grigio is a light-bodied wine with green apple, pear, and citrus characteristics. It complements seafood and lighter foods.

Fiano is a medium-bodied wine with nutty, honey, and tropical fruit notes. It has a deep, rich taste and is ideal for heartier recipes.

Grillo wine is a light-bodied wine with citrus and tropical fruit characteristics. It is a versatile wine that goes well with a wide range of foods.

A wine with a light body and notes of citrus and green apple is called Catarratto. Catarratto wine is energizing and goes well with seafood and lighter fare. Catarratto wine is very popular in Sicily.

Instructions:

  1. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil, then add the pasta and cook as directed on the box.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in another pan. After adding, sauté the garlic for one to two minutes until fragrant.
  3. After adding the white wine to the pan, simmer it for a couple of minutes to let the alcohol evaporate.
  4. Stir in the squid ink and bring the seafood broth to a boil. Cook the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it slightly thickens.
  5. After draining the pasta, add it to the sauce in the pan. Combine by tossing.
  6. Include the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Montalbano Fish Recipes: How to Cook Italian Mussel Soup

Italian mussel soup, also known as “Zuppa di Cozze”, is another Montalbano fish recipe that you can cook around the world very easily.

A flavourful and hearty soup that is perfect for a cold day or as a starter for a special occasion. Here is a basic recipe for Italian mussel soup:

Ingredients for Montalbano’s Mussel Soup:

  • 2 lbs mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 cups seafood broth
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions for Montalbano’s Mussel Soup:

  1. In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and the minced garlic and cook for 2 or 3 minutes until the onion is translucent. Do not get the garlic get brownish.
  2. Add the white wine to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes until the alcohol has evaporated.
  3. Add the seafood broth, tomatoes, parsley, and thyme to the pot. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes after bringing to a simmer.
  4. Add the mussels to the pot and cook for 5-10 minutes until they have opened. Discard any mussels that do not open.
  5. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, with crusty bread on the side.

This recipe yields 4 servings of Italian mussel soup.

montalbano recipes mussel soup zuppa di cozze

It is clear that the mussel soup is only a first course. If you want to turn the mussel soup into a more consistent central dish, you can add pieces of fish without bones, shrimp, rings and squid tentacles, pieces of octopus, cockles, etc. In this way, you will transform the Montalbano Fish Recipes Mussel Soup into a traditional Sicilian fish soup.

I suggest cooking and sautéing everything separately and then adding to the mix, so each component maintains its flavor. In this way, the diner will be able to appreciate the full range of diverse flavors.

Which Fishes Are Boneless and Easy to Eat in Sicily?

Several types of fish are considered boneless and easy to eat. Some examples include:

  • Cod: Cod is a white fish with a delicate flavor and a flaky texture. It is often used in dishes like fish and chips and is easy to find in most markets.
  • Sea Beam Fish (Orata): tasty white fish, boneless, with good texture. Very popular in Sicily, and one of the favourites of Montalbano fish recipes.
  • Tilapia: Tilapia is a mild-flavored fish that is often used in fish tacos and other dishes. It has tender flesh and is easy to cut into thin fillets.
  • Sole: Sole is a flatfish with a delicate flavor and a flaky texture. It is often served whole or as fillets and can be cooked quickly and easily.
  • Salmon: Salmon is a popular type of fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids. It has rich, flavorful flesh and is easy to cut into fillets or steaks.
  • Haddock: Haddock is a white fish that is similar to cod in flavor and texture. It is often used in dishes like fish cakes and is easy to find in most markets.
  • Catfish: Catfish is a type of fish with firm, white flesh that is easy to cut into fillets. It has a mild flavor and is often breaded and fried.
  • Pollock: Pollock is a type of fish with a white, flaky flesh that is similar to cod in flavor and texture. It is often used in dishes like fish and chips and is easy to find in most markets.

Montalbano Fish Recipes: Grilled Orata Sea Bream Fish

Sea bream fish is a flavorful, delicate fish that is commonly found in Mediterranean cuisine. This fish called in Italian, Orata, is very popular in Sicily. I will highlight 3 advantages of eating Orata, besides being a healthy choice: cheap (about 8 euros the kilogram), boneless, and tasty.  

Restaurants in southern Sicily that serve fish of the day usually have Orata as one of the options. Because it is a popular fish off the coasts of Ragusa, Agrigento, and Syracuse where Inspector Montalbano is filmed in Sicily.

Here’s a simple recipe for How to Cook Sea Bream Fish Orata on our list of Montalbano Fish Recipes.

Ingredients for Grilled Orata:

  • 2 whole sea bream, gutted and scaled
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh herbs (such as thyme or parsley), for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 °C (400 °F).
  2. Place the sea bream in a baking dish and fill the cavity of each fish with slices of lemon and minced garlic.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the fish and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake the sea bream in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork.
  5. Garnish the sea bream with fresh herbs and serve hot.
grilled Sicilian fishes recipes

Alternatively, you can also cook sea bream on the grill or in a pan on the stove. To grill the fish, preheat your grill to medium-high heat and place the sea bream on a lightly oiled grill grate. Grill for 6-8 minutes on each side, until the flesh, is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork. To pan-fry the fish, heat a bit of oil in a pan over medium-high heat and cook the sea bream for 3-4 minutes on each side until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork.

If you want to see more Inspector Montalbano Recipes, don’t hesitate to follow the link to our post.

Also, here is the link to our article with the Montalbano Arancini Recipe Easy Way (Sicilian Rice Balls)

We hope you will be encouraged to cook and try some of these excellent traditional Sicilian dishes that have become so popular thanks to the fans of Inspector Montalbano in this article summarizing Montalbano Fish Recipes.


Spread with friends and followers!

Leave a Comment