Squid with Basil and Tomato

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Serves 2

squid - 2 large, cleaned

garlic - 2 cloves

olive oil - 4 tbs

tomatoes - 500g

saffron - a pinch

spice mixture (below) - 2-3 tsp

juice of a lime

whole basil leaves - a large handful

parsley - 1 tbs

crusty sourdough or ciabatta bread, to serve

for the spice mix:

ground cumin - 1 tbs

ground coriander - 1 tbs

sweet paprika - 1 tbs

ground red chilli - 1 tsp


To make the spice mix, simply stir together the cumin, coriander, paprika and chilli.

Slice open the body sacks of the squid and rinse thoroughly. Score each one with the point of a knife, diagonally at 1cm widths, then turn and do the same the other way, to give a lattice pattern. It will help the squid cook tenderly. Trim the tentacles of any exceptionally long bits.

Peel and crush the garlic. Warm it in a shallow pan with half of the olive oil. As soon as it starts to simmer and the garlic wafts appetisingly, drop in the squid and let it sizzle for a minute or two, no longer. Remove with a draining spoon and leave in a bowl.

Pour the remaining olive oil into the pan, chop the tomatoes and put them in with the saffron and the spice mix. Leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, for a good 7-10 minutes until the tomatoes have relaxed.

Stir in the lime juice, basil and parsley. Grind in a little salt and when all is bubbling return the squid to the pan. Cook very briefly then eat with crusty bread to mop up the rusty scarlet sauce from the plate.


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