Step away from the fryer! Grilled calamari w/fresh pappardelle

I love fried calamari. The crispy tentacles. The tangy marinara. The creamy aioli dipping sauce. Oh, man. No surprise, when I saw fresh calamari in the seafood section, I immediately started thinking -- Hmm, how could I fry this up? But wait, this blog is supposed to be about trying new things!

So here's my GRILLED calamari creation. Sliced into tender rings, over a bed of pappardelle pasta tossed in lemon butter sauce. About 2 servings with this recipe.
I started by marinating the calamari:
  • 1/2 lb. calamari, cleaned (Mine was already cleaned at the store)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper
I combined all the ingredients in a bowl and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Then, I cooked up the pasta:
I used 1/2 lb. of fresh pasta, cooked in generously-salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Can use dry pasta, too. Follow directions on the box!
Time to grill up the calamari!
I used a grill pan on the stove top to get good grill marks. Cook the calamari on high heat, roughly 2 minutes each side (I just waited until I saw good grill marks before flipping). After doing some research, I found that keeping the heat high and the cooking time low keeps you from getting rubbery squid!
Now here's the recipe for the sauce:
  • 2/3 cup tomato, diced
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced finely
  • 2/3 cup bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 1/3 cup half & half
  • 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped
  1. Combine leftover calamari marinade and butter in a sauce pan.
  2. On medium heat, add the veggies. Cook until they're soft, 5-7 minutes.

Add the anchovy paste. (I know, it sounds weird, but you won't taste "anchovy," just a certain briny "je ne sais quoi." You can experiment with adding a little more if you like the flavor.) Finish with another squeeze of lemon, half & half, and plenty of chopped fresh basil!

Toss the pasta in the sauce. Plate it up, top with sliced calamari, and more fresh basil. Yum!