Linguine with Cilantro Pesto and Chile Calamari
35 min
35 min
4 servings
35 min
35 min
4 servings


Cilantro Pesto:
  • 50 grams/2 ounces fresh cilantro, rinsed, thicker stalks removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or raw almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 green chile, seeded, optional 
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • Kosher salt
  • 400 grams/14 ounces linguine or spaghetti
  • 500 grams/18 ounces calamari rings 
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried chile flakes 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, plus for drizzling
  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice 
  • Handful fresh cilantro, for garnish


For the cilantro pesto: In a food processor, combine the cilantro, olive oil, pine nuts, sugar, chile if using, garlic and lemon juice. Process to a paste. Season with salt and loosen with a little olive oil or hot water if necessary. Set aside.

For the linguine: Cook the pasta according to package instructions; drain and set aside.

Rinse the calamari rings, then transfer to paper-towel-lined plate and dry well. The drier the squid, the crispier the end result. Sprinkle with the chile flakes and a generous pinch salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or wok over high heat. When really hot, add the calamari; fry until lightly golden and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the drained pasta and 3 or 4 tablespoons pesto to the calamari; toss together.

Serve immediately in warmed bowls drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil and garnished with cilantro.

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