Seaside squid and tomato pasta

Picture this: you’re at a nice seaside restaurant, sitting outside in the open air. The sun has set but just barely and the horizon is filled with all shades of purples and blues. The tablecloth is immaculately white; your partner is across the table from you enjoying a glass of a local farmer’s fresh red wine. When all seems perfect and can’t get any better, your waiter serves you the following dish: al dente pasta topped with fresh squid sautéed to perfection and a tomato sauce with garlic, thyme, olives and topped with just a sprinkling of feta and coriander.

Serves 2-3 hungry adults

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Ingredients

For the squid:

1 fresh squid

1 dash cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

4 smashed garlic cloves

50ml Ouzo

1/4 lemon or lime

For the sauce:

1 can chopped tomato sauce

4 minced garlic cloves

4-5 sprigs fresh thyme

25gr butter

1 handful chopped black olives

Grated feta

Chopped coriander

Fresh pasta, preferably tagliatelle or tagliolini (a thin, spaghetti-like variety) – approx. 100gr per person

Prep:

Heat up your sous vide to 59ºC. Chop the squid to 1cm thick rings and the tentacles into 5cm strips. Add them to a mixing bowl and mix with the rest of the ingredients: cayenne pepper, garlic, squeeze of lime, Ouzo and salt and pepper. When the sous vide has heated up, transfer to a bag and leave for 60-90 minutes (you can test the consistency of the squid after 60 minutes; if you prefer firmer flesh leave the squid for another 30 minutes).

For the sauce:

On medium-low heat melt the butter, add crushed garlic and thyme and stir until aromatic. Add the tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and increase the heat to medium to reduce the sauce somewhat. Add the chopped black olives and continue to stir occasionally for 7-10 minutes until the sauce thickens.

When the squid has cooked through, remove the bag to a bowl with ice for a couple of minutes; remove from the bag and add to the tomato sauce (you can reserve some of the liquid from the bag but I prefer adding it all to give the sauce another nice layer of flavor). Combine in the pan on low heat and mix so the squid is covered with sauce.

Meanwhile, cook the fresh pasta until al dente, 1-2 minutes depending on the thickness of your pasta. At this point you can either add the pasta to the sauce and mix well or serve the pasta and top with the sauce. Top with a bit of freshly chopped coriander and grated feta cheese and serve with a glass of light and fruity red wine. Enjoy!

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