Main Meals

Calamari pasta

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20 minutes
20 minutes

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  • 500–600 g frozen calamari
  • 400 g linguine
  • 1 kale (Tuscan if available) bunch, washed and trimmed (remove the ribs)
  • ½ cup olive oil, plus extra for frying
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 15 g Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • lemon wedges, for serving

1. Thaw the calamari in the fridge overnight in a colander placed over a bowl. Before using, dry well and bring to room temperature.

2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Steam the kale over the boiling pasta water until just limp. Shred finely. Cook gently, covered, in 2–3 T olive oil for 5 minutes, or until just cooked. Season lightly. Drain the pasta, reserving the water.

3. Preheat the oven to as hot as it can go: 230–250°C. Heat a roasting pan in the oven for about 5 minutes. Mix the olive oil with the garlic and seasoning, then with the well-dried calamari.

4. Turn the calamari into the hot roasting pan, spreading it into a single layer. Roast for 5–10 minutes, or until just cooked, tender and starting to colour.

5. Mix the pasta with the calamari, gradually stirring in about ½ cup pasta water. Add the kale and toss, adding a little more pasta water to loosen. Check the seasoning and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

Cook's note: I find that quickly roasting the calamari keeps it tender. Tuscan kale, when available, is less bitter than curly-leafed kale, but you could also use Swiss chard. If you have some good fish or seafood stock, use it instead of the pasta water for loosening.

Find more pasta recipes here.

Photograph: Toby Murphy
Production: Brita Du Plessis
Food assistant: Kate Ferreira


Phillippa Cheifitz

Recipe by: Phillippa Cheifitz

Regular TASTE contributor Phillippa is a well-known South African author and food writer, and has won many awards, both for her magazine features and her cookbooks.

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