certainly not for the squeamish.
if you have to deal with whole squid that is. to me, finding freshly thawed previously frozen squid is like discovering a vein of gold in the back yard, because i can remember a distant time when i lived in a little village in upstate New York when there was none to be found. not a shrimp, fresh fish, or oyster was to be had.
i never take it for granted no sir!
i guess it is just not typical fare for a majority of Americans–i once met a New Jersey boy raised on peanut butter and jelly and potatoes and he told me squid was fishing bait! tsk tsk tsk.
whenever i came home to my Ma in Manila she always made sure there was adobong pusit on the table for my first meal back. hands down the best way to have pusit–freshly caught.
so, feeling that urge for a squid binge after chatting with my old friend Carole who told me about Saba squid with soy sauce and chili, which i did not find in my Asian grocery, i decided to buy a couple of pounds of fresh squid instead and to cook this squid and spinach and pasta dish that we used to order from an Italian restaurant near us….based on a recipe from Ruth Rogers and Rose Grey (of London River Cafe fame)’s Italian Two Easy(i used spinach instead of their zucchini).
it’s truly a revelation!
now i’ve discovered marjoram, which mixed with lemon zest and juice, elevates squid into fragrant and most unfishily unsquidly heights.
1 lb. squid
1 bag spinach, 12 ozs. (or 1 lb. zucchini, sliced, salted, rinsed, drained)
2 garlic cloves
1 dried hot chile
extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsps. fresh marjoram leaves or 2 tsps. dried
11 ozs. spaghetti
prepare the squid by pulling away the head and tentacles from the body. cut off the tentacles and squeeze out the beak. open the body out into a flat piece and scrape away the soft interior pulp. finely slice the body. separate the tentacles. wash and pat dry.
peel and finely slice the garlic. crumble the chile. grate the zest of the lemon finely, then squeeze out the juice.
heat a large, thick bottomed skillet, add 3 tbsps. olive oil, and when smoking hot, add the squid and dried marjoram, if using, like i did… (otherwise add fresh marjoram with the spinach). stir briefly, then add salt, pepper and chile, followed by the garlic. stiry fry just to brown the squid. add the spinach, lemon juice and zest, (and the fresh marjoram). stir. remove from heat.
cook spaghetti per instructions then drain and add to the squid mixture. toss, and serve with drizzled olive oil.
(i also sprinkled a tiny bit of romano cheese on mine)….