The Food

Recipe #8

Calamari ripieni con risotto al pesto, Antonio Carluccio, Italian Feast

Stuffed squid with pesto risotto. This recipe falls down on only one count, and it’s one of my pet hates. The first instruction is preheat the oven, but the oven doesn’t come into play for at least half an hour. Plenty of electricity could have been saved if this instruction had come a lot further through!

Aside from that, this is sensational recipe… The squid are stuffed with a mixture of the tentacles fried with chilli and garlic, bread soaked in milk, spinach, pine nuts, parmesan, dill and lemon zest, then fried for a while before being roasted in the oven in a mixture of lemon and orange juice. Coupled with a simple risotto flavoured only with pesto sauce (what an excellent idea, I wish I’d thought of it!), this makes a fantastically flavoursome meal – citrus, basil, heat from the chilli, unctuous risotto goodness, and yet not too heavy.

Worth noting.. I didn’t have any cocktail sticks so couldn’t hold the squids closed.. The filling expands on cooking, so mine ended up looking a bit of a mess, but it still tasted excellent. Definitely worth heeding the instructions on sealing the ends if you are looking for a showcase dish.

I’ve owned this book for years but haven’t tried many of the recipes – on the basis of this, I must make more effort. RIP Antonio, thank you for the inspiration!

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