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Pasta with Squid, Tomatoes, and Capers

Serves 4 (first course)
  • Active time: 45 min
    Total time: 1 hr
There are two ways to get tender squid: a very quick sauté or a very long simmer. This simple yet impressive recipe uses the former method. We call for a Thai or serrano chile because they're easier to find here—try your local supermarket—than the small, thin Italian hot chiles.

This recipe is part of Wendy Artin's From Rome with Love menu. The menu also includes Veal Bocconcini with Porcini and Rosemary and Tiramisu.
Published in Gourmet Live 10.31.12

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound cleaned squid, bodies and tentacles separated but kept intact
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 (1 1/2-inch) fresh red or green Thai or serrano chile, halved crosswise
  • 1/2 pound grape or 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
  • 1/2 pound campanelle (small bell-shaped pasta) or fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 (1- by 1/2-inch) strip fresh lemon zest, finely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • If squid are large, halve ring of tentacles, then cut longer tentacles, if attached, crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Pull off flaps from squid bodies and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut bodies crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rings. Pat squid dry.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté garlic and chile, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add squid and sauté, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes and wine and simmer, stirring, 2 minutes. Add raisins and capers and simmer, stirring, 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
  • Cook pasta in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander.
  • Add pasta to tomato mixture with 1/4 cup reserved cooking water and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in basil, pine nuts, zest, and salt and pepper to taste. If pasta looks dry, moisten with more cooking water.
  • Divide pasta among 4 plates, then drizzle each serving with some of remaining 3 tablespoons oil.
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