Thursday, February 21, 2008

Presto Pasta Night #51

For this weeks Presto Pasta Night I'm trying a different type of pasta

wholemeal spelt pappardelle

These are Wholemeal Spelt Pappardelle - using spelt imparts a nutty flavour to these wide pasta strips.

Using this type of pasta does make the dish more filling so rather than use a heavy sauce which it can handle I went for a lighter approach.

At the market I found some lovely fresh calamari and from there the dish evolved - a slowly simmered infusion of garlic, ginger and chilli would form the base of the sauce. At the last moment, finely diced tomatoes and parsley are added as well the seared calamari and then it's all tossed through the pappardelle.

Wholemeal Spelt Pappardelle with Calamari

Wholemeal Spelt Pappardelle with Calamari
[Serves 2]

Wholemeal Spelt Pappardelle
1 calamari tube
garlic, finely sliced
ginger, finely sliced
1 long red chilli, finely sliced
3 tomatoes, finely diced
fresh parsley, finely sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper

Prepare the Calamari:
Slice the Calamari tube along its length to create one flat piece and then on the inside, create a crisscross pattern on the flesh making sure you don't cut all the way through.

Slice this into finger sized strips - toss in a little olive oil and some finely diced chilli and allow to infuse.

Make the sauce:
Over a very low heat, add some olive oil and a good knob of butter to a pan and allow to slowly melt. Add the garlic, chilli and ginger and being careful not to allow the mix to colour, cook it for about 10 minutes. You should end up with a lovely aromatic base. You can make the base up to this stage ahead of time. Just bring it back up to temperature as you are cooking the calamari.

Cook the calamari:
The calamari should be cooked around the time the pasta is just about cooked.

Season them with freshly ground salt and pepper and cook them quickly in a very hot pan so they sear rather than sweat - you could do this over a grill as well.

Due to the criss-cross pattern the calamari develops a rather attractive curl as they cook.

Complete the dish:
Add the finely diced tomato and parsley to the base - stir them through to mix and then add the just seared calamari and drained pasta. Season well with salt and freshly ground white pepper, give it another toss through and then it's ready to serve.

Wholemeal Spelt Pappardelle with Calamari

This would work equally well with prawns and scallops or you could leave out the fish altogether and replace it with a good grating of pecorino or parmesan.



  1. this is definately one for me! i remember reading somewhere about the 5th taste, umami, and how the combination of calamari and parmesan enhances the umami factor. yum!

  2. Oh my, the calamari caught my eye!


  3. You do make me drool! Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. I do hope you plan on joining in next week's big one year birthday bash.

  4. I'm a bit timid around calamari, but this looks great!

  5. It looks and sounds delcious and "light". Perfect for the hot & humid weather we've been having the last few days. I find myself being drawn to seafood that's prepared quickly.

    I got a pasta roller for Christmas but I still haven't found the time to try it out. Hopefully from April onwards, I'll have my own fresh pasta to write about :-)

    Have a nice weekend,

  6. Oh my gosh! This sounds *amazing*.

    I can't find any calamari here at school, but as soon as I get home I'm making this asap.

    Bookmarked for sure!

  7. Thanks Heart - next time I'll should add some parmesan to this to test the combination out.

    Thanks Gay.

    Thanks Ruth - I wouldn't miss it!

    Thanks Mike - if you buy the calamari already cleaned or get your fishmonger to clean them for you, it does make handling them alot easier.

    Thanks Nora - i'm sure you'll have a blast making your own pasta and it tastes so much better too!

    Thanks Melissa - do let me know how it turns out for you!

  8. I liked the way you sliced up the calamari, it gives it a little something extra! Very nice.


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