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After leaving work surprisingly early on Tuesday, I managed to catch my favourite fishmonger (Ocean Wave on Seven Sisters Road).   I hadn’t planned on buying anything in particular, but a huge white squid caught my fancy.  As Paul (just found out my fishmonger’s name and will of course be using it) lifted the squid I realised it was far bigger than anticipated, but I left with a bag full o’ tentacles and began thinking up a recipe.

Given how disgusting the weather has been this past week, I wanted to make something un-characteristically summery, and a trip to Michael’s (another Sever Sisters Road gem) provided me with these pretty gawjus tomatoes.

This squid is Sicilian only in the sense that it reminds me of some squid I had on a recent break to Sicily, and the tomatoes and mozzarella pulled through the pasta give it a rustic Italian feel.

I also used the remaining pasta the next day (recipe 2), with the addition of tuna and a poached egg, it made a delicious lunch.

Recipe 1 (Serves 2)

Large Squid (Body)

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt & Pepper

2 Cloves of Garlic

Get your fishmonger to prepare the squid because otherwise you have to pull ‘the beak’ out. Don’t even ask. Score the inside of the quid lightly in a criss-cross pattern and cut into smaller pieces. Marinate in the olive oil with the salt, pepper, and finely chopped garlic (see below). Leave for an hour in the fridge.

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During this time prepare the tomatoes and pasta. After this has marinated heat a griddle pan until it is smoking hot. Cook the squid for 1-2 minutes per side.

About 2 handfuls of mixed small tomatoes (cherry, baby vine, yellow…whatever you have)

1 Banana Shallot

1 Red Chilli

2 Cloves of Garlic

Balsamic Vinegar

Olive Oil

Salt &  Pepper

Sugar

1 ball Mozzarella

Handful of Basil Leaves, Roughly Torn

Rigatoni (for 2)

Leave the tomatoes in cold salted water for an hour before using them.  If you don’t have time to do this it is really not the end of the world.  Finely chop the chilli (as much/little as you like), garlic, and shallot. Chop the tomatoes into halves or quarters, and mix these ingredients all together along with the basil, a glug of olive oil and one of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on top, and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix thoroughly, and leave to soak while you prepare the pasta. (NOTE this first part is also a great tomato salad recipe on its own.)  Cook and drain the pasta, and add the tomato mixture.  Tear the mozzarella ball into smaller pieces and mix this in too.   Cook the squid at this stage (it’s super quick) and top with the squid pieces, and a squeeze of lemon.

Recipe 2

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Leftover Pasta mix (if you’re like me, there will be no squid left by this point)

1 Tin Tuna

1 Poached egg

Plenty of  Salt & Pepper

Mix the tuna in to the pasta mixture, poach the egg, pop on top, season to taste.

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Like everyone who has a job and has a vague interest in politics,  I have been borderline addicted to the Leveson live stream.  Yesterday however, I was in meetings all day,  and was so forced to watch coverage of Paxman from afar, and silently, on the office projection.  I have to say, silent Paxman looked formidable, yet I didn’t get the impression anything too shocking was going on. I later learned that the great revelation of the say was that Paxman claims that Piers Morgan ‘told him how to hack phones’.  Conclusions we can draw having watched his testimony WITH the sound on?  Firstly, Piers Morgan is probably a bit awful;  the impression of him that I got from Paxman’s anecdote was one of a boorish and bullying dinner party guest.  Which is strange for me, as I’ve always liked him rather more than popular consensus does.  Secondly, Paxman’s use of the phrase ‘Wet around the ears’ was hilarious.  And finally,  if we really consider the guests at this lunch it sounds like a really rather odd celebrity Come Dine With Me:  Victor Blank, Jeeremy Paxman, Piers Morgan, Phillip Green and Ulrika Jonsson. 

As you might have guessed, the above is Morgan’s retaliatory tweet.  Not sure Paxo’ll be too gutted.

Kiran Stacey’s piece on the FT Westminster blog this week comments on the likelihood of DVD Dave’s camp having leaked the story, knowing it would play well with the public.  I have to admit that, if this is the case, my last post is playing rather into their hands.  I stand by it though.  Not sure why, but I do.

Photo: Steve Back/Rex Features

This weekend, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Andrew Hough’s ‘DVD Dave’ piece http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/9276511/David-Cameron-how-karaoke-and-tennis-make-PM-a-chillaxing-champ.html.  I have now re-read it several times, and am still unable to put my finger on the exact tone of the article.  Superficially, it seems to be lauding David Cameron’s ability to take a break from a high pressure job (‘Mr Cameron’s enthusiasm for pursuits other than work is a healthy sign of an appetite for life.’) but it definitely has something rather more accusatory in its tone. ‘DVD Dave’ loves boxsets, date nights with SamCam and tennis fuelled with ‘3 or 4 glasses of wine’ on a Sunday if we are to believe this weekend’s revelations.  Friends have commented that ‘If there were a gold medal in Chillaxing, he’d win it’.  Putting to one side my instant queasy feeling when The Telegraph/ Tories/ Anyone over 16 uses the word ‘chillaxing’,  I found the whole thing rather unusual.  On one hand, we want our politicians to be refreshed (as Ed Cumming’s rather more pro-Cameron Telegraph article commented snidely This is what ‘the premiership of Gordon Brown taught us’)  but we also don’t really want them, relaxing and happy?  I suppose I’ve always thought that way too.  I suppose I’ve thought of the leader as the somewhat austere embodiment of the state itself, and yet that is of course, unfeasible.  While I’m sure most PMs are predominantly occupied with serious matters of state (Since Berlusconi left office at least),  four years is a long time to have no fun.

So I say gan’ on DVD Dave.  I have a lot of problems with DC’s premiership,  but him liking the occasional episode of The Wire isn’t one.