Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Spaghetti with squid, green pepper and spicy scallop chutney sauce

I was deliberating on what to cook for lunch -- in the midst of exams and wouldn't think of running out to buy complements, and at the same time tired of the same old ways of doing pasta. So after taking some things out of the fridge, shifting packets and bottles and half-sliced vegetables around and thinking about combinations (eliminating anchovies, capers, olives and tomato out of the equation), I decided on a slight deviation from the norm: Squid with green peppers in a spicy scallop chutney.

I sauteed about half a large onion and two finely-chopped cloves of garlic in olive oil, then added chopped green pepper, stirring for a minute before adding a tablespoon of spicy scallop chutney (procured from Hong Kong, meant as -- well, a chutney!) until the green pepper looked bright and gave off that unmistakable green peppery scent (mingled with the spicy tones of reduced scallop chutney. Then added the chopped frozen calamari (half-finger length pieces, if there ever was such a measure) and a dash of oregano, salt and pepper to taste, cook for 5 minutes, then add a teaspoon (to taste) of chutney. Then in goes the pasta (spaghetti), mix it up with a cup or less of the water used for boiling the pasta over medium-high heat.

The result: just the right amount of mouth-watering spiciness from the chutney, well-matched with the tanginess of the green pepper. And well-absorbed by the calamari, without too many clashing flavors.

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