Pasta with Squid, Tomatoes and Capers Posted by: | July 4, 2010
 

And yet another week of no blogging. I’m so sorry guys! There are so many changes coming up in my life that I’m just so overwhelmed and can’t even get myself to even watch the latest Nigella Express. Sigh. However, Gym night is a good excuse to cook ahead as I’m always monstrously hungry after gym and have no patience to cook anything esp after Spinning classes. This week’s Gym night meal was Pasta with Squid, Tomatoes and Capers – a really quick recipe I found on Epicurious as I wanted a quick pasta recipe with squids, which were in fact bought for Squid Ink Pasta, but I soon realized it’s too complicated a dish for a weeknight meal.

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The recipe was a no-brainer. But I ended up spending almost half an hour alone just cleaning the baby squids! Lesson learnt. If you are in a rush, DO NOT buy baby squids! You have to clean each and every tiny squid, remove each and every tiny ink sac, and when those squids are cooked, they shrink into almost nothingness!! I felt so cheated… AGAIN! (I have cursed at making baby squids before. I just don’t know why I never learn! Damn those Supermarket bulk offers…). So here it is, another weekday pasta dish that is full of surprising flavours. Look at the ingredients list and you’ll know why…

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Pasta with Squid, Tomatoes and Capers (adapted from Epicurious.com)

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INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

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  • 200g – 300g cleaned squid, bodies and tentacles separated, body cut into big rings.
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 pack of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup drained bottled capers, rinsed, patted dry, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 pack of fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed torn fresh basil leaves
  • fresh lemon zest of a lemon, finely chopped
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METHOD:

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1. Prepare your squids: pull the head from the body, try to pull along the little ink sac as well. If not, pull out the ink sac carefully from the body with your fingers without bursting them. I am still keen to attempt Squid ink risotto or pasta one day, in which case the ink sacs would be reserved. Cut the tentacles off the head at just below the eyes and remove the beak/little bone from the center of the tentacles. Pull out the bone from the squid body and rinse off whatever that is left in its body. Cut the squid body into big rings, while leaving the tentacles intact.

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2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy pan over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté garlic, stirring, until fragrant, for about 30 seconds. Add squid and sauté for 1 minute. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and wine and simmer, stirring for 2 minutes. Add raisins and capers and simmer, stirring, 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the juices from tomatoes and squids are somewhat reduced. Remove from heat.

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3. Cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander. Add pasta to the squid tomato sauce with 1/4 cup reserved cooking water and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until the pasta is coated with the sauce. Remove from heat and stir in basil, zest, and salt and pepper to taste. If pasta looks dry, moisten with more cooking water. Drizzle with the remaining extra virgin olive oil just before serving.

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The first bite of this pasta was a real pleasant surprise. You have the tangy, salty capers mixing with the sweet raisins and the juicy tomatoes. A real unexpected combination of flavors which totally did its magic! It continued to surprise me even on the next day after gym. A real treat, even though the gym trainer told me I shouldn’t eat anything after the work out except for Fish soup or something. Screw that. I’d rather go for my carbo-filled pasta!

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Hope I’ll have more time to cook/bake soon! :(

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If not, I guess you’ll see me more active in the kitchen again only from September…

 

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