Spicy Tomato and Squid Pasta

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

A simple way to warm a heatproof serving bowl is to put it in the sink with a colander inside of it. When you drain the cooked pasta into the colander, the pasta water warms the serving bowl. This is also a good way to capture some of the cooking water, in case you need to loosen the pasta sauce.


  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. anchovy paste (optional)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) crushed tomatoes with juice
  • Salt, to taste, plus 2 Tbs.
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. gemelli, fusilli or other spiral-shaped pasta
  • 1 lb. cleaned squid, bodies cut into strips or rings


Make the sauce
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over medium-low heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and 1 Tbs. of the parsley, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion starts to color but not brown, about 30 seconds. Stir in the anchovy paste and tomatoes and sauté until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and black pepper.

Cook the pasta and finish the dish
Add the 2 Tbs. salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente, according to the package instructions.

Add the squid to the pot and cook along with the pasta just until opaque, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the pasta and squid, add to the sauce, toss to coat and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Seafood, by Jay Harlow (Oxmoor House, 2007).

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