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Cook's Test: Orecchiette with Grilled Calamari

Recipe by Michelle Lee
This beautiful, simple pasta dish comes together in a matter of minutes, making it perfect for evenings when you want something fresh and tasty, but also quick and easy. Before grilling, the calamari has a very mild, briny sea smell (not overly fishy), but after grilling it takes on the lightest touch of a smoky flavor – delicious! After just three minutes on a medium-high grill, you can see that the tubes take on light grill marks, the ends of the tentacles are slightly charred, and everything slices up easily.
Yield: Serves 4
Total Time: 40 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 30 min
Additional:
Ingredients
1 delicata squash
12 ounces orecchiette (or similar pasta)
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Juice of 1 lemon
Splash of white wine (optional)
4 cups fresh baby arugula (or other tender green)
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
Preparation
1.  Preheat the grill to medium high and preheat oven to 425º F. Lightly brush the calamari with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
2.  Slice the squash in half lengthwise, scrape the seeds out and slice each half into 1/4-inch half moons.
3.  Toss squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes in oven, turning the squash over every 10 minutes to ensure even roasting.
4.  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
5.  Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a nonstick skillet on medium heat. Sauté the garlic for 3 to 5 minutes, until it begins brown slightly. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes and sauté one minute.
6.  If using white wine, add a splash now and let the sauce cook down, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
7.  Toss together the pasta, lemony garlic sauce and baby arugula and divide between four plates.
8.  Grill the calamari on medium-high, turning once, 2 to 3 minutes. Don't leave the grill during this process – the calamari cooks quickly and can become rubbery if overcooked.
9.  Halve each tentacle and slice each tube into rings. Divide among plates of pasta, top with a light dusting of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve.
About Michelle Lee

Welcome to my Colorado kitchen!

This series features me, Michelle — a writer and soccer mom from the Rocky Mountains — my husband and two kids, some beautiful Vital Choice seafood and lots of regular home cooking.

I want to feature the products and preparations you’re curious about.

Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?

Email me and help to shape this series.

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