Calamari Fettuccini with Garlic, Parsley, and Red Pepper
This recipe was raised to another level by a fantastic food scene in the movie Chef where Jon Favreau makes Pasta Aglio e Olio, a simple, yet divine combination of garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes and lemon. It’s one of my favorite go-to dishes for a quick winter night meal.
The addition of calamari to this dish makes it more grown-up and also just slightly more complicated, if only because when cooking calamari, attention to detail is key. Thirty seconds in the life of cooked calamari is the difference between sublime tenderness and chewy rubber bands. Just be ready once the calamari goes into the pan.
This recipe below is as I’ve written it for Sugar and Salt: The Orange Book, but in the video above, I’ve substituted a bed of greens for the carbohydrate-filled, and ever-satisfying pasta. Either are delicious.
1 pound dried fettuccini
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for the pasta)
15 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound calamari or other firm-fleshed fish local to your area, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups minced fresh Italian parsley; about 1 bunch parsley
8 ounces grated Parmesan cheese; about 1 cup lightly packed
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice; about 1 lemon
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat and cook the pasta until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. One minute before the pasta is done, begin the calamari.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Somewhere in there, drain the pasta and transfer to a platter. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with half of the Parmesan cheese.
Add the red pepper, calamari, and salt to the skillet with the garlic and sauté. The calamari is done when the edges curl and it turns white, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the parsley and lemon juice and transfer to the top of the pasta. Serve immediately with the other half of the cheese as a garnish.
Serves 4 to 6