Friday was a horrible day. We had a burglary in the wee hours of the morning, and it took almost all day to sort it all out and get things in order again. Needless to say, lunch time came and went unnoticed; but by early evening, we were all grumpy, ravenous and exhausted. My plans to go grocery shopping earlier on in the day had been scarpered, and I was in no mood to brave traffic and go in search of edifying ingredients to cook with so I had to rummage around in the store and the freezer and make do with a few bits and bobs. The squid ink tagliatelle was my first find in the store. I brought it back with me last year from Florence, but just had not got round to using it yet. In the freezer, there was no meat to speak of, but there was this lonely bag of mixed seafood from The Fish Shop which seemed promising. Finally, a quick root around the bottom of the fridge revealed some still-edible fresh vegetables and herbs. That is how this meal was born. It was super quick, ready in 20 minutes and so, so, sooooo delicious. It felt much more planned and pre-meditated than the impromptu meal it was and so I just had to share this with you. Below is a little pictorial story of how the meal unfolded. Enjoy xx.


First, set out the ingredients… 

Squid ink pasta prep omnomlagos


Half a can of chopped tomatoes, two ata rodo chopped (because that heat is so necessary) and some limes for serving… 

Lime and chopped tomatoes in preparation for pasta omnomlagos


Saute onions, leeks and garlic in a bit of olive oil…

Leeks onions and garlic sauteeing in olive oil


Fling in the seafood… 

Seafood leeks onions and garlic sauteeing in olive oil


Fling in the chopped tomatoes, fresh thyme, fresh basil, an oxo cube, and some hot water…
Onions leeks seafood garlic fresh basil thyme chopped tomatoes omnomlagos


Allow sauce to cook through and once the seasoning is right, transfer the cooked pasta to the pan with the sauce… 

Black squid ink pasta being put into the seafood sauce


Mix, mix, mix. How luscious does this look?

Squid ink seafood pasta ready to plate omnomlagos


Plate up and take a few photos 🙂
Squid ink seafood pasta plated


Add some lime and basil leaves for presentation… 

Squid ink pasta plated omnomlagos



Go back to the pot for seconds, if no one else has got there first… Seafood squid ink pasta leftovers in the pan


And that, ladies and gents is how I turned my frown upside down on Friday afternoon. It tasted so good. I really liked the squid ink pasta. It produced a beautiful, al dente effect, and the seafood, though frozen, retained all of its juicy, seafaring charm. The sauce was glossy and flavourful, and the aroma of the fresh herbs was out of this world. This meal cheered us all up no end, and I will definitely be repeating this in some form soon.

I feel like this pan had a lot to do with the outcome of this dish. This pan is one of my favourites to cook in because it is older than me and somehow I feel like it lends me wisdom in the kitchen. It was a wedding gift to my mum, and look – it is still going strong today. It is not non-stick, but never ever burns. I love it.

What’s your favourite impromptu meal? Are you a fan of specialty pasta, or do you like it to be kept nice and regular. What sort of meal cheers you up on a difficult day. Do you have a favourite pot or pan? Sharing, comments and banter very welcome. I have put an ingredient list below in case it helps anyone with their ingredient search.



Ingredients list

For this meal, I did no special shopping and had all the ingredients already at home – but here’s where I got them from originally:

Canned tomatoes – Spar, Lekki, Lagos

Squid ink pasta – Florence, Italy

Frozen mixed seafood – The Fish Shop, Lekki, Lagos

Fresh basil and fresh thyme – L’epicerie, Victoria Island, Lagos

Chicken flavoured oxo cubes (not pictured) – Goodies Supermarket, Victoria Island, Lagos

Leeks – Fruit and veg stand on Idowu Martins, off Adeola Odeku (almost opposite Sterling Bank)

Olive Oil, kosher salt, onions, garlic – household staples