Lemon, Garlic & Chilli Squid (with basil and lemon zest tagliatelle)


September 3, 2012 by Bloke In A Kitchen

This is one of my favourite meals, and I’m really chuffed with this little improvisation I concocted, almost a cross between Italian and a South East Asian noodle dish!  It’s a bit zesty, a bit spicy, and very delicious!

The fresh pasta (as opposed to pre-made dried pasta) really does seem to make a difference here. The recipe can all be prepared several hours in advance, and then only takes a few minutes to actually cook.  Add more chilli if you want to fire it up!  Squid is currently on sale quite cheaply in my local supermarket, so this seems a good seafood to try out right now.

Ingredients                Serves: 2

  • 2 or 3 small fresh squid
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, grated
  • Half a lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 fresh chilli, de-seeded, and very finely chopped
  • 1 small pinch of chilli powder
  • 1, 2 or 3 teaspoons of sugar (to taste)
  • About a heaped teaspoon of fresh ginger, very finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 pinch of dried oregano
  • a few twists of freshly ground black pepper


  • 100g of ‘oo’ pasta flour (or plain flour)
  • 1 medium free range egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of good quality sea salt
  • 8-10 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • zest of about 1/3 of a lemon
To cook the squid, you’ll also need;
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of butter

1.  Prepare the squid by cutting off the head, pulling off the wings, taking out cartilage from the main body. Wash and rinse the squid thoroughly in cold water. If you’ve not already passed out looking at the entrails and offcuts of the squid, move swiftly onto Step 2.


2. Your gutted and cleaned squid will now look like this (much more appetising I’m sure you’ll agree).


3.  Now slice the squid into rings.

4.  In a bowl, combine the squid, grated garlic, zest of half a lemon, lemon juice, olive oil, chilli powder, sugar, oregano and black pepper.  (try this with the optional fresh ginger too if you like – it makes this dish really wonderful, and a true East meet West fusion that works brilliantly)  Mix well, and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to marinate. (This could even be done several hours beforehand / overnight).  The lemon juice will help keep the squid beautifully tender.


Once the flavours have marinated for 30 minutes or so, taste the marinade.  Adjust the flavour accordingly.  Personally, I like this dish to get hot AND sweet, so I tend to add a bit more sugar, to balance the lemon and chilli flavours.

* REMEMBER! Don’t just follow recipes, TASTE the food as you go along, to suit your personal preferences, or inspire you to try adding another ingredient to lift the recipe). *

5.  Now you can prepare the fresh pasta in advance.  In a bowl, sieve in the flour, add the salt, chopped basil and lemon zest.  Stir well to make sure the zest, basil and salt are evenly distributed.  Add the egg.

(You could of course omit the basil and lemon zest in this recipe – but I wanted to experiment a little with the pasta, and it takes just a few seconds to add them if you wish).


6.  Now mix the pasta mixture well with a fork, until it slowly starts to come together. Now using your hands, keep working in all the flour to make a dough, and work it in until you have a small, smooth, ball of dough (add a very small drop or two of water if the dough seems dry). Wrap in clingfilm, and leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes. (Resting the pasta dough allows the flour to do its thing, and ensures a good texture.)

7. To roll out the pasta, flour a large, clean work surface, and dust the dough, too. Keep rolling, and turning the pasta dough, to make an oblong-ish shape, and until you have as thin a dough as you can. (Take a break if you feel your arms are going to drop off). Ideally, you want the dough to be fairly transparent, it just takes practice, but even if it’s not exactly wafer-thin, you can still be sure it’ll still taste wonderful. As long as it’s not thick and lumpy, it’ll be fine.


8.  With a good sharp (NON-serated) knife, cut long strips of thin pasta. (I’m not very good at measurements – just think of the width of tagliatelle and you get the idea!)


9.  Place the pasta in a large pan of salted, boiling water. Give it a quick stir to prevent it sticking together, and make sure water continues to boil. The pasta will take just a couple of minutes to cook. (when the pasta has risen to the surface, it should be ready).  Taste a bit to make sure it’s done OK, and then drain the pasta.

10.  Add a couple of teaspoons of olive oil into a medium sized frying pan. Heat the oil gently (not smoking hot!), and add the squid marinade. Cook over a medium heat for about a minute and half. When squid is cooked, add the teaspoon of butter, give a final few stirs, and remove from heat.

11. Combine the drained pasta and squid, mix well so all the lovely zesty juice covers the pasta. Sprinkle over some fresh basil leaves, and serve straightaway on a warmed plate.

Enjoy!!!  Richard & Amelie xx

Bloke In A Kitchen


2 thoughts on “Lemon, Garlic & Chilli Squid (with basil and lemon zest tagliatelle)

  1. Nic Chapman says:

    Think I’ll have a go at this next week. The picture you posted on Facebook book looked delicious. Cheers.

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