Buttery, garlicky, spicy calamari with couscous
( SERVES 4 )
I say squid, you say calamari. Whatever you want to call it, this tentacled mollusc might just be the most delicious, healthiest - and easiest - protein that you're probably not cooking. Fried calamari is insanely popular. Yet relatively few restaurants, and even fewer home cooks, seem to be familiar with the culinary potential of baking, braising or sauteing squid. Cooked badly, squid can be tough, chewy and totally unappetising. For some, there's also the ick factor of all those tentacles. But cooking squid well is incredibly simple.
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|2½ tbsp||Olive oil|
|450 g||Squid tubes, cut into 1.25cm pieces and patted very dry|
|3 tbsp||Unsalted butter|
|2 tbsp||Fresh parsley|
|1 tbsp||Fresh basil|
|1 pinch||Chilli flakes, use more to your tastes|
|3||Garlic cloves, minced|
|1 pinch||Freshly ground black pepper|
|1 squeeze||Lemon, to taste|
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the couscous until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well, toss with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and keep warm.
- In a very large frying pan over high heat, heat the remaining oil until it begins to smoke. Carefully add the squid, butter, parsley, basil, red-pepper flakes and garlic (if your pan is small, you may have to do this in two batches; you don't want it too full to toss).
- Cook, tossing frequently, until the squid is opaque and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add the couscous to the pan and toss until incorporated.