Every so often I like to play a game called “What’s in my fridge door?” that involves me digging around in my fridge and freezer to find old ingredients that are either running low or need to be used up before they go bad. It’s a good way to keep my fridge (and pantry) from overfilling with all the random ingredients I purchase and only use bits of for the 52 Weeks of Cooking Challenge.
Every six month or so, I give the freezer a good purge too – this time around I dug out some calamari which I’m pretty sure was leftover from when I made squid tempura several months ago. This week’s actual challenge was “30 minutes or less” so I decided to utilize the calamari in a dish I called “calamari surprise” – mostly because I had no clue what was going to result from my rooting around in the refrigerator.
The result was a creamy, lemony sauce drizzled over a bread of angel hair, red onions, red peppers and of course, fried calamari. I managed to whip it up in about 20 minutes, though it probably required more dishes to make than my boyfriend (aka my dishwasher) would have preferred. I guess that’s what happens when I start experimenting in the kitchen!
- 16 oz angel hair pasta
- 8 oz calamari rings & bottoms
- 1 cup + 1 cup ice water
- 1 cup tempura batter mix
- ½ cup red onion sliced
- ½ cup red bell pepper sliced
- 3 tablespoons garlic minced
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- 4 tablespoons fresh parsley + more for topping
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
- salt & pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Stir in the parsley. Set aside. In a large pan, heat the vegetable oil to 350 F. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Prepare the tempura batter according to the instructions on the box. Slice the calamari into rings, leaving the tentacles intact. Dip the rings into the tempura batter. Fry the tentacles in the batter for 30 seconds, until they are curled up.
- Quickly transfer the battered rings to the hot oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until the tempura batter is puffed and golden. Transfer from the oil to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Melt the butter in a skillet then add the onions and red peppers and saute until softened. Drop the angel hair pasta into the boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes while the onions and peppers are cooking.
- Drain the pasta, reserving one cup of the water. Add the pasta to the skillet with the peppers and onions, then pour in the water and the mayonnaise/lemon sauce. Stir well until the noodles are covered.
- Add the Parmesan to the noodles and stir. Squeeze on any remaining lemon juice and garnish with parsley. Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese and enjoy!