Thursday, March 31, 2011

Squid, pesto and asparagus pasta

The ingredients really make the dish here. They are the stars. The added value of your cooking will be practically nihl, but despite the less-than-10 minutes it will take you to make it, your guests will be glad you didn't spend more time slaving over the meal. This dish tastes and looks like spring, with green and pink tones and the freshness of basil and asparagus. 

It all started with a squid. It had been a busy, long day for us and I silently cursed myself for having defrosted it in the morning now that I had so little time on hand. When I made the decision, I still didn't know we would be lugging and building furniture all week end. I had very little time to cook before the kids' bedtime and I was tired on top of it, so pasta seemed like the easiest solution. While I cleaned and cut the squid and peeled a few cloves of garlic I started thinking about how to make the sauce. Tomato sauce and olives? Plain old garlic and parsley? As I opened the fridge to get some water, I heard something crash onto the floor. I looked down and didn't know whether I should curse or laugh when I saw it was the worst thing that could have fallen and broken: a plastic tub of pesto (yes, store-bought pesto). Half of the green, oily and garlicy mass was splattered across my kitchen floor (ugh) but the other half was still usable (the jar had conveniently just split across the bottom). I immediately knew what was going in my pasta. Still, I wanted a vegetable and that is where Tiffany saved the day. I took a couple of the asparagus and used a potato peeler to make thin ribbons of raw asparagus. I sauteed a little garlic and the calamaro in olive oil, just enough for the latter to change color and not turn tough. I threw in the remaining pesto and the asparagus ribbons and tossed it all a few times. When the pasta was ready I drained it, but not excessively, and tossed it with the sauce. Some fresh pepper and voilà, dinner was served.

Ingredients (4 servings)
1 large (or 2-3 small) squid
a half cup of pesto
a couple of asparagus
olive oil
garlic (optional)
500gr pasta


  1. I can almost smell the pesto from here. This is a great pasta recipe and I love the fact that it does not take ages to make! I think that often great recipes come up "per caso", by chance. This is definitely a keeper! :-)

  2. Isn't that wonderful how the tastiest meals come together out of lack of time/energy or lost ingredients. or when ingredients literally jump out of the fridge asking to be used! :P

  3. Manu - Let's face it, we all need go-to meals. Especially with small kids. That is why I want to learn the perfect technique for your frittata
    Lorraine - Yeah, that pesto really wanted to be eaten!

  4. Pesto and pasta as a base is one of my favorite dinners! Not sure if I could get my family to eat squid, but I'd be looks delish.

    I have a question for you mind e-mailing me at at Thanks!

  5. I have been planning to make squid in the next few days and this is giving me yet another option on what to do with the leftovers, thanks!

  6. What a wonderful recipe. Love the idea of asparagus pasta.

  7. This looks Heavenly to me! Love the shot on the pan by the window ~ it's really beautiful!

    I hate when I drop things in the kitchen...pesto would be lame as it's oily and I would be super sad half of it was gone! I just might grab some bread, have a seat on the floor and call it day! LOL!

  8. Oh what a nightmare having to clean up spilled pesto. The end result sounds delish though.

  9. Yum this pesto pasta looks delicious. Great photo too!

  10. I love your blog Fiona! I have an award for you. You can collect it here:
    Hugs! :-)

  11. Lizzy - Hi Lizzy, thank you for contacting me and including me. Re the pasta, you could chop up the suid in small pieces, a sort of ragout, and feed it to them without them knowing, hehe. ;o)
    ToB - it is so quick and tasty.
    Maris - the asparagus goes really well with the pasta
    DD&W - thanks. I had to LOL imagining you on the floor with a piece of bread. It is actually a pretty good idea!
    Barbara - no fun, I promise. But it did help me discover a new, delicious recipe.
    Miri - thanks
    Manu - thank you so much, I am honored!

  12. Tutte cose che amo dai calamari al pesto, una pasta che voglio proprio provare!

  13. My goodness, this looks amazing! I've never attempted to cook with squid before, but I sure love to eat it :D

  14. Terry - semplicissima ma super buona. Fammi sapere!
    Aubrey - it is really easy. The main mistake people make is overcooking it and making it turn tough and rubbery.


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