Squid with chorizo, cannellini beans, spinach and aioli

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One reason I love living in London is of course the restaurant scene. It is ever changing and evolving and I love (and hate!) the fact that I can’t keep up. Eating out inspires me a lot as a home cook but it is not always the most impressive and technically difficult dishes that appeal the most.

Since I had a similar version of this squid dish at Terroirs in October I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to cook it since. So when Laura, another squid lover, came for dinner the other week I knew exactly what to cook.

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The Terroirs original has chickpeas instead of my cannellini beans but other than that I think I hit quite close to home. My homecooked dish was just as satisfying and although this is a straight-forward recipe with simple ingredients the combination is just utterly wonderful. (Chorizo is a bit like bacon – whatever you add it to tastes wonderful.) All it requires is some crusty bread and a nice glass of wine.

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Squid with chorizo, cannellini beans, spinach and aioli, serves 4

400 g squid, sliced into rings

150 g chorizo, sliced

1 tin (400g) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 

250 g fresh spinach

oil for frying

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt, black pepper

To serve:

chopped parsley

aioli (see below)

crusty bread

Fry the chorizo in the oil. Remove from the pan but keep the oil to flash-fry the squid. A few minutes is all you need. Put the chorizo back in the pan and add the beans. Wilt the spinach in a separate pan and add it to the big pan too. Squeeze with lemon juice, season and serve! 

Aioli, serves 4

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

150 ml vegetable oil

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt, white pepper

1 garlic clove, pressed

Place the yolk in a mixing bowl and start whisking. Add the oil drop by drop and gradually in a thin beam. Once the mayonnaise has thickened, add the lemon juice to loosen it. Then start whisking again and incorporate the remaining oil. Add more lemon for flavour as well as salt, pepper and garlic. 

Cannellini bean spread

Another crostini topping is this cannellini spread with sage. It is the Italian cousin of hummus but tastes very different.

I added sage, garlic and lemon juice to make it fresh and add to the Italian feel of it. Mix it together the day before and leave in fridge overnight for the flavours to really develop.

Just like the chicken liver mousse, we served this in a mini copper pan and the crostinis on the side so each guest could help themselves.

Cannellini bean paste, serves 4

400 g canned cannellini beans

1/2 lemon, the juice

5 sage leaves

1 small garlic clove, pressed

salt, white pepper

mild olive oil

Rinse the beans and drain. Mix together with the lemon juice, garlic and sage, add olive oil until desired consistency. Season. Refridgerate overnight.