Thursday, December 9, 2010

Angel hair pasta with calamari

So – you buy frozen squid. Now what? The only way I’ve cooked them before was fried. I decided it was time to try something new. Years ago, Peter’s mother used to send us frozen calamari pasta sauce at Christmas time. It was okay, but only okay. I like this recipe because it calls for the quick-cooking method for the squid.

The recipe comes from Epicurious, and has been modified by yours truly. I changed the type of pasta and the type of tomatoes, left out raisins (just didn’t sound good to me), left out basil (it’s so expensive in those little boxes at the supermarket), left out pine nuts. I stripped it down to just the basics: tomato sauce, squid, capers, lemon zest, and little else.

Here’s a photo of the cute little squid devils.

Angel hair pasta with calamari
14 oz. cleaned small squid, bodies and tentacles
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 14.5 oz. can Italian tomatoes
pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp drained bottled capers, rinsed, patted dry, and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb angel hair pasta
1 (1- by 1/2-inch) strip fresh lemon zest , finely chopped

Slice the squid tubes across into 1” pieces. If the tentacles are small, leave them whole. Otherwise cut them across in half.

Heat oil and butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add squid and sauté, stirring, 1 minute. Remove squid to a bowl.

Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, oregano and wine and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add capers and lemon zest and simmer, stirring, 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Stir in squid just before the pasta is finished cooking.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Liberally salt the water. Cook the pasta until al dente.
Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, transfer to the pan with the sauce, using tongs or a spider.

Add reserved cooking water if necessary and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle each portion with some olive oil and serve.


Pam said...

Mmmm. This looks hearty, filling, and oh so delicious. I love calamari.

Jenn said...

Oh YUM! That looks and sounds absolutely perfect! I like the simplicity of it..who needs raisins in their pasta sauce anyway? lol

Sook said...

I love pasta! I have to have pasta at least once a week... :) Love this one with calamari. Yum!

Velva said...

Og wow, this is a great mid-week dinner choice. Thanks for sharing.


Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

I've never worked with squid, I might have to change that after reading this post Stephen!

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