Tagliatelle Verdi with Squid and Green Cream Sauce

Squid is a perfect ingredient for pasta sauces as it cooks so quickly – in fact, it must never be cooked for more than a few minutes or it will become rubbery. However, if cooked very briefly, it is tender and delicious. People are sometimes alarmed at the idea of preparing squid but once you have learned how it is not difficult and I even find it quite fun.

Ingredients

  • 500-625 g (1-1ΒΌ lb) smallish squid
  • 425 g (14 oz) tagliatelle verdi
  • 125 g (4 oz) fresh spinach, stalks removed, washed and drained
  • 175 ml (6 fl oz) double cream
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz) dry white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced very thinly
  • Good handful fresh dill, chopped roughly
  • Salt and black pepper

Method

Clean and prepare the squid as shown, reserving the tentacles and slicing the bodies across into very thin rings. Set aside.

Cook the tagliatelle verdi in plenty of boiling, salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Put the spinach leaves into a food processor and whizz until chopped as finely as possible, then add the double cream and whizz again.

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat, then add the wine, sliced squid and tentacles and the sliced garlic and stir around for 30 seconds only. Pour the spinach cream into the pan, bring to the boil and bubble for 1 minute, then season to taste with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and remove from the heat. Cover the pan with a lid or foil to keep the sauce warm.

When the tagliatelle is ready drain it and rinse well under cold running water, then return it to the rinsed-out pan with a spoonful of olive oil to stop it sticking together and reheat. Stir in the squid and cream sauce and the roughly chopped dill. Turn the mixture into a warm serving bowl and serve immediately.