Stuffed squid and pumpkin mash

octopus nightmare stuffed squid

Perhaps it wasn’t wise for Trota to trail the next day’s menu to Salmon just before bedtime …

Stuffed squid and pumpkin mash

stuffed squid pumpkin calamari ripieni zucca

…the poor bloke had such nightmares (not helped, incidentally, by flashbacks to Gennaro’s TV octopus episode). Never one to share Trota’s passion for fish, crustacea and shellfish in general – even less the tentacle type – Salmon was hardly looking forward to this weekend special.

A recipe from the online La Cucina Italiana, for this delicious dish (trust Trota!) you will need: 150g potato boiled and roughly mashed, 50g fillet of cod, 70g king prawns, 4 medium squid (12–13cm), or up to a dozen of the smaller ones (4–5cm), a cup of vegetable stock, a small bunch of dill and one of marjoram, olive oil, 250g cooked pumpkin.

Skin the cod and remove the shells of the prawns, then use a food mixer to create a coarse blend. In a bowl combine the fish mix and potato. Add a little olive oil and a couple of generous pinches of chopped dill and marjoram. Mix well, as if you were making fish cakes.

Remove the tentacles from the squid, wash thoroughly and pat dry. Fill the squid bodies with the fish/potato mix and close with a cocktail stick. Don’t overfill (if you have any left you can make a patty and fry it like a fish cake).

In a large frying pan (with a lid for later), start by frying the filled squid and also the tentacles in a couple of tbsp olive oil. When the tentacles are cooked remove them from the pan and keep warm while you continue cooking the filled squid. Add a ladleful of stock, put the lid on and simmer gently for 10min or so until cooked. With a cocktail stick, gently pierce to let the juices run into the pan.

Meanwhile, puree the pumpkin pulp in a food processor. Season to taste and add a little olive oil. Serve the squid together with the tentacles alongside the pumpkin puree and a drizzle of the pan juices. Lovely.

Happily, Salmon was won over: even he had to admit that this was a superb treat. Delicious as it was, though, it did require some effort and preparation – and a fair amount of washing up. But sleep tight Mr Rowe, maybe the one-pot next time.