So this was the first time I’ve ever cooked with calamari and it went so well I wanted to share it with everyone.
± 15-20 whole tubes of calamari (ask your local fish monger for the exact amounts)
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
A handful of fresh flat leaf parsley
10 black olives, pitted and cut in half
Half a bird’s eye chili (or a whole one if you like it hot like I do)
2 anchovies, in oil
Good quality extra virgin olive oil (± 5 tbsps)
250 grams of spaghetti
Half a lemon
Sea salt and black pepper
1 large frying pan
1 pot for the pasta
2 plastic chopping boards
Extra sharp knife
Preparation: 15-20 minutes depending on your knife skills
Cooking: 10 minutes
After defrosting the calamari, rinse it thoroughly. Boil the kettle.
Place a cloth under the plastic chopping board (this will stop it from moving) and place one calamari tube at a time. Cut it in half and open it out onto the board. Score it in a crisscross fashion (be careful not to cut right through!). After this is done, cut length ways in the opposite direction until you end up with strips of calamari that have slight crisscrosses on each strip. Make sure your knife is extremely sharp and don’t be fooled the meat is quite resistant but don’t push down to much when scoring it as it will break through. Set the calamari aside. Put the pasta onto boil, stirring occasionally.
On a separate chopping board, chop the olives, chili and all the stems of the parsley, keep the leaves for later. Place the frying pan on high heat and pour a tablespoon of olive and some oil from the anchovies into the pan. Add the garlic, chopped parsley stems, olives, chili and anchovies and cook for 2 minutes. Add the 5 tablespoons of olive oil and then the calamari, cook on high heat for 90 seconds. Then turn the heat off, add the parsley leaves, squeeze the lemon and add the shaved Parmesan. Taste for flavour if it needs salt and pepper then add some.
When dishing up, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, fresh parsley and enjoy.