I hate admin. It’s boring, I’m rubbish at it, and it always seems to take at least three times longer than I expect it to. I am heading back to
for three weeks on Thursday. What started off as a holiday seems to have mutated into an epic voyage of personal admin, during which I must sleigh the evil Inland Revenue dragon, battle with a three-headed re-mortgaging monster, pick up a golden marriage certificate at the Castle Registry Office, cross an old man’s hand with silver (a lot of silver) for a new passport, and more boring stuff which is too tiresome to even think about. London
The upshot is that in preparing for my mission I have not had much time to cook. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to listen to the wicked little voice that says “just order pizza” (incidentally, that voice is my husband, not my own alter ego – I’d never say a thing so outrageous). So this week dinner is about things which are delicious yet quick.
This pasta dish is amazing. I love the colours – the flecks of green Thai basil, red chilli and white squid look so striking on the ebony pasta backdrop. And it tastes every bit as good as it looks. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some forms to fill in.
200g dried squid ink fettuccini
200g fresh squid
1 lemongrass stick
2 cloves garlic
I slice ginger
1 large mild red chilli
Small bunch Thai basil
Good quality salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Clean the squid and cut into rings about 5mm thick
- Prepare the other ingredients. Finely slice the garlic. Cut the chilli in half lengthways. Remove the seeds and cut into thin slices. Mince the ginger and lemongrass as finely as possible. Coarsely tear the Thai basil leaves.
- Heat a large pan of water. Add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions.
- When the pasta is almost done, heat a generous slug of olive oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the garlic, lemongrass and chilli and stir for about a minute. Add the squid and cook on a high heat until done (about 2-3 minutes).
- Drain the pasta thoroughly. Pour the contents of the pan over the pasta and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Combine well and serve.