Calamari, Tomato & Basil Pasta Recipe

Calamari Tomato & Basil

I’ve been enjoying the summer weather lately, and been loving the entertainment opportunities that presents too. When I have guests though, I like having pre-prepared, or quick to prepare meals as I don’t like spending ages in the kitchen! That’s just one of the reasons I really enjoy this Calamari, Tomato & Basil Pasta: it’s easy to prepare before hand, leaving just 10 minutes cooking time required.Calamari Tomato & Basil

I prefer to use fresh pasta when pasta is the main part of the meal, so I’ve used fresh pasta in this recipe. Dry pasta works, but needs to be cooked for longer. It can also be served in a salad, or with quinoa or other starch of your choice.

Use a good quality squid for this recipe too – nothing worse than leathery calamari!

Now, if you want to prepare this meal for later cooking, chop the garlic cloves, wash and dry the cherry tomatoes – halve them if they are the larger variety – wash the squid, clean it and cut it into rings, and chop the basil leaves roughly. Store all the items in the fridge till about 20 minutes before you’re going to cook them, leaving it to warm to room temperature a little.

If your calamari loses a lot of liquid in the cooking, you can pour it out about before adding the cherry tomatoes.

Serve immediately – and if you’re having wine, Calamari, Tomato & Basil Pasta pairs really well with a dry white wine, like a Pinot Grigio – a wine I don’t normally like, but it works fantastically with this. Another alternative is Riesling.

Calamari, Tomato & Basil Pasta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
There's a lot of flexibility in this recipe, with room for adaptations to make it your favourite. You may not like anchovies, but don't miss them out as they really add to the flavour of this dish.
Serves: 4
  • Pasta for four people
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, washed and dried
  • 450g squid, cleaned and cut into rings
  • bunch cut basil leaves
  • salt and pepper
  1. Prepare the pasta as per brand instructions. Set aside. (I bring 1000g water to boil in the Thermomix® - Varoma/8 mins/ speed 4 - then add the pasta in the internal steamer for 3 - 4 minutes / Varoma/speed 4)
  2. To a heated pan, add the oil, garlic and anchovy to a frying pan and heat till the anchovy sort of 'melts'.
  3. Add the squid and fry for 1 - 2 minutes, tossing them as you do.
  4. Next, add the cherry tomatoes and fry them for 3 - 4 minutes, till they begin to soften and leak juice - I prefer the cherry tomatoes to still have some bite to them, but it's personal choice, really!
  5. Test the squid to make sure it's nice and tender, then add the basil, salt and pepper.
  6. Serve with the pasta, or as a salad with green leaves.


Aubergine And Anchovy Tapenade

To like this recipe, you are going to have to like aubergines and anchovies, although the flavour combines really nicely in such a way that you don’t really taste much of either – it’s more a third, new flavour. I think so anyway, and I really love it.

This goes well with the obvious things like crackers, but it’s also a good filling for baked potatoes or sandwiches. I had initially wanted to make a bagna cauda soup, but didn’t have enough aubergine, so converted mid-recipe to a tapenade instead.

Also, aubergine, egg plant, whatever you call it, is ridiculously hard to photograph in any half decent way!


Aubergine And Anchovy Tapenade
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Remember the anchovies are pretty salty, so be careful when adding more salt!
Recipe type: Tapenade, Dip, Filling
Serves: 350g
  • 300g aubergines
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 20g olive oil
  • 6–10 anchovy fillets
  • 30g single cream
  • Salt and black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 190C
  2. Halve the aubergine/egg plant and drizzle olive oil over the top. Place in the oven for 35-40 minutes till it's soft.
  3. Cool slightly then scoop out the aubergine, discarding the skin.
In the Thermomix®
  1. Add garlic, sugar, olive oil and anchovy fillets into the bowl. Add the aubergine.
  2. Mix speed 4 for 10 seconds. It shouldn't be puréed, just mixed together. It's better if you can keep some of the texture.
  3. Add the cream, salt and pepper and mix for 5 seconds on speed 3, making sure it's all mixed together.
  4. Scoop into a serving dish and serve with crackers or vegetable croutons.
In a blender
  1. Add garlic, sugar, olive oil and anchovy fillets into the bowl.
  2. Depending on your blender start slowly till you have a roughly chopped texture. Add the aubergine and cream, salt and pepper and blend till it's all combined.
  3. Scoop into a serving dish and serve with crackers or vegetable croutons.

Hope you enjoy this delicious, naturally salty dip!