Spaghetti alla carbonara con pesce spada affumicato (spaghetti carbonara with smoked swordfish)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I discovered this dish while holidaying on the Italian seaside which combines smoked swordfish and carbonara. Essentially the guanciale is replaced by the smoked swordfish. A genuine carbonara is always made with eggs and not cream so the combination of eggs and smoked fish (think smoked salmon or kippers) is a classic one. It also means that pescatarians (vegetarians who eat fish) can also enjoy this deliciously creamy, smokey toothsome pasta dish.
While I have only seen this dish with swordfish in Italy, making it with smoked salmon would be equally delicious albeit not authentic. This substitution may be necessary however as smoked swordfish outside of Italy is rather rare while smoked salmon is ubiquitous. If I am making this for lunch for the children, I sometimes add a handful of frozen peas to the cooking water during the last 3 minutes of cooking.
Recipe type: First Course (Primo)
Cuisine: Inter-regional
Serves: 4
  1. Heat a large pot of water to heat with 10 grams of salt per litre of water. (Do not add oil to the water.) Separately, heat a saute pan over medium heat. When warm, add the butter and the swordfish to sear for 1 minute.
  2. Add the fish stock and reduce it until it has almost completely evaporated, about 10 min. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Add the pasta to the boiling water, giving a stir occasionally to ensure the pasta stays separate. Cook for the time indicated on the packaging. Drain thoroughly (do not rinse with cold water). Add the pasta to the swordfish with the egg yolks, pecorino cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Toss together quickly to ensure that the egg cooks evenly and coats the pasta without coagulating and that the cheese melts.
  4. Divide between 4 pasta bowls and serve with freshly ground black pepper.
Recipe by Living a Life in Colour at