- 750 gram small squid or calamari (see tips)
- 1/3 cup (80ml) lemon juice
- 400 gram spaghettini
- 1/2 cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 large red chillies, sliced finely
- 2 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- 1To clean and prepare the calamari, remove the tentacles from the body by pulling gently. Cut the tentacles from the head just below the eyes. Remove the black or brown beak from the centre of the tentacles; halve or quarter tentacles if large.
- 2Remove the clear plastic-like quill in the body (hood) and any entrails inside.
- 3Remove the two fins from both sides of the hood then carefully pull away the dark membrane or skin on the outside of the hood and fins. With a sharp knife, cut down one side of the hood and open out. Score the inside of the hood and the fins with fine diagonal lines in a criss-cross pattern, being careful to only cut halfway through the flesh. Cut into 2cm wide strips. Rinse all prepared squid and pat dry with absorbent paper.
- 4Bring a large pot of well salted water to the boil. Add 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and then cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup (60ml) of the cooking water. Drain pasta.
- 5Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a high heat until smoking. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and the calamari, cook, stirring for about 2 minutes or until brown lightly almost cooked. Add garlic and chilli, toss to combine and remove pan from the heat.
- 6Add the pasta to the calamari mixture in pan with remaining oil, juice, lemon rind and chives. Toss several times to ensure the pasta is well coated; season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a little of the reserved pasta water if needed.
- 7Divide between 4 warm pasta bowls and serve immediately.
Not suitable to freeze or microwave. Calamari is the Italian word for squid, but it is also used for the species of squid whose side fins run the full length of their bodies as opposed to those with shorter fins. Calamari are often smaller and more tender than squid, though are not commonly sold cleaned. It’s worth the little extra effort to clean them yourself. Squid, calamari and cuttlefish, a relative of squid, can be used interchangeably in almost all recipes calling for squid or calamari.
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