Okra and Calamari Farfalle

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Okra and Calamari Farfalle

I have always liked farfalle or bowtie pasta as they look so pretty. I like to use them in salads as seen in my Rainbow-tie Salad. Recently, I came across these very colorful bowties. I had to do a double take as I could not believe my eyes. These bowties are so pretty and colorful. One would assume that such colors could only be possible with artificial food coloring but on reading the label, I was delighted to discover that it was all natural. The yellow color is achieved using turmeric, the black from squid ink, and the magenta from beets. These bowties are made in Italy. I had to get a bag as I was curious about the taste and what it would look like after being cooked.

I wanted to make a sauce that will enhance the ingredients used to color the pasta. Of the three colors, I figured that the color of the beet will probably not hold as fast as the other two. As such, I felt that a spicy calamari sauce would complement the turmeric and squid ink in the pasta. Okra which goes well with peppers and calamari, will provide the much needed green color for the dish. Lemon juice will give added zing.

Okra and Calamari Farfalle

When cooked, the beet colored portion of pasta did fade to a rosy pink color. The pasta has a mild turmeric flavor and just a very slight hint of squid when boiled. The calamari and okra provided texture and the spicy and tangy sauce made this Okra and Calamari Farfalle very appetizing.

Okra and Calamari Farfalle

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Okra and Calamari Farfalle


  • ½ lb (225g) farfalle (bowtie pasta)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lb (225g) okra, sliced cross wise
  • ½ lb (225g) calamari or squid, sliced into bite sized pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup (150g) grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


Cook pasta as per packaging instructions. Drain and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan. Sear okra slices for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Add another tablespoon olive oil into pan. When pan is really hot, add calamari and cook for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Calamari will turn opaque and curl. Remove and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil in pan. Sauté garlic until fragrant. Add pepper flakes and tomatoes and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add pasta and gently stir to mix. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat.

Return cooked okra and calamari to the pan. Pour in lemon juice. Toss, remove, and serve immediately.


Okra and Calamari Farfalle

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8-)

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23 Responses

  1. MaryMoh says:

    Wow…that must be the most beautiful pasta I have seen! Lovely dish.

  2. Anncoo says:

    The bowties are so pretty and this is definitely a colorful and tasty dish.

  3. Rick says:

    Those look like Mad Hatter bowties! Everything looks fantastic together!

  4. Lea Ann says:

    Those bow-ties are beautiful. Great photos. This dish sounds really interesting and tasty! Thanks for sendng it along.

  5. denise @ quickies on the dinner table says:

    ROFL I have to agree a little with Rick – this does look like something from out of Wonderland! But it is so beautiful, especially on that gorgeous, almost organic looking blue platter. I would definitely want to try this!!

  6. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Wow, those bowties are way cool! Where did you get them? I love this pasta dish, thank you so much for a terrific 5 Star Makeover entry!

  7. Biren says:

    @MaryMoh – Thanks and I would agree with you that it looks beautiful. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw it :)

    @Anncoo – Thank you :)

    @Rick – LOL! It is kinda Mad Hattish with all those colors!

    denise@quickies on the dinner table – ROFL too! When I first saw it, I just stood there and stared. There are other colorful ones but I thought this was the most stunning! I should have kept one bowtie for posterity…hehe. I hope the store will restock them.

    Isn't the platter something else? The pasta and platter are a riot of colors but it's fun…. :)

    @5 Star Foodie – Yes, it is cool. It's produced by Pasta L'antica Madia in Italy. They have the most amazing pasta – all shapes and colors using natural food dyes. I found them at Homegoods and so am not sure if they'll be able to restock. They went fast!

  8. Joy says:

    Biren what a beautiful serving plate you have there, what is it made of? I also love the colored farfalle, my mother in law gave me a bag once and I was excited about all of the colors :)Wonderful pasta dish!

  9. Cristina says:

    So beautiful! The pasta looks like festive decorations. Did the color change the texture or flavoring at all of the pasta? Very nice presentation.

  10. Kamalika says:

    Dear Biren..this for the first time I am seeing this kind of colourful pasta and this unique cmbination…I wish u should win the 5 star make over challenge….all the best…

  11. article says:

    Yummy and healthy pasta. I love your bow tie pasta. Such amazing color palette. Thanks for sharing.
    bow ties

  12. Juliana says:

    Oh! I never seen this kind of bowties…they are so cute and so colorful…love the way you prepare them…nice and complete meal :-)

  13. Mary says:

    The pasta is amazing. The range of color is fantastic. I've never before seen anything like this. I love the way you've prepared it. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  14. tigerfish says:

    Goodness, the bowtie is so pretty…like a candy ;)

  15. luvtoeat says:

    Holy Moley! Those are the most beautiful bowties I've seen! What a rare find this must have been. And I'm impressed that there were no artificial food colouring. Best of luck to you Biren! :-D

  16. Nostalgia says:

    How fancy! That looks great, thanks for visiting our blog and you have a wonderful space here too. Good to make your virtual acquaintance

  17. Tizzy says:

    What a beautiful plate of food! They are almost to pretty to eat. Almost. :}

  18. Lazaro Cooks! says:

    Thank you for stopping by the blog. Wonderful dish. Inspired use of okra and calamari together. Cheers!

  19. Stella says:

    Hey Biren, this pasta is awesome. Why do I never see stuff like this. I knew they were natural too-I could tell right away about the beet and turmeric. I can't believe the black is squid ink-very cool.
    Your dish sounds so delicious and healthful too!

  20. Cinnamon-Girl says:

    This is such a colorful dish! I love the bow-ties – have never seen anything like them. This looks very delicious too – you chose great flavors to go with them!

  21. Biren says:

    @Joy – The plate is made of glass and I think it is made in Turkey.

    @Cristina – The pasta has a a mild tumeric flavor. When I was boiling it, there was a faint hint of the squid but not distinct after being cooked.

    @Kamalika – Thank you so much for your well wishes :)

    @article – Thanks for visiting :)

    @Juliana – Thank you.

    @Mary – Yes, the pasta is something else. Couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw it!

    @tigerfish – I think so too!

    @luvtoeat – It is a rare find indeed! Thanks!

    @Nostalgia – Thanks you and it is nice to meet you too :)

    @Tizzy – I should have kept one or two of those bowties….they are so pretty.

    @Lazaro Cooks! – You are most welcomed and likewise, thanks for visiting and following :)

    @Stella – I must say it was a pretty rare find. It's always fun to have something interesting to work with :)

    @Cinnamon-Girl – I love the bowties too. Wish they will restock. Thanks….it was fun to think up of how to marry it with other ingredients.

  22. The Food Hunter says:

    LOVE That Pasta!!

  1. May 3, 2012

    […] another colorful pasta, please check out my Okra and Calamari Farfalle […]

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