(Originally published July 23, 2015 on Examiner.com)
Earlier in July of this year at Union Restaurant in Pasadena, Chef Bruce Kalman put the “Cresta Di Gallo, Santa Barbara squid, lipstick peppers, pesto Di rucola, smoked almonds” on the restaurant’s menu. Explaining his inspiration for this dish Kalman noted, “I love the shape of the pasta. It’s interesting with varying textures that make it fun to eat. It kind of resembles tentacles, so I felt it would pair well with squid, and sweet lipstick peppers as well as a spicy, nutty pesto to balance the dish nicely.”
All of the ingredients in this dish are seasonal and locally sourced through a few different farms for the produce, Captain Ben at Wild Local Seafood Co for the squid, and Grist & Toll for the freshly milled flour for the pasta. All of these fresh ingredients are at peak flavor, especially the fresh squid. There is a huge difference in flavor and texture between fresh and frozen squid.
Regarding this squid, Captain Ben stated, “The problem with local squid is that a majority of it is shipped out of our country because the processing facilities in Southeast Asia and other countries are so cheap. So you can put it on a truck, put it onto a big cargo ship, ship it across the Pacific, clean it and send it back here, still call it US squid and then that squid is still cheaper than if you processed it here. That’s the frozen squid that you see sold here.”
Kalman’s chose to plate the dish simply, and rustic. Kalman concluded, “This dish really embodies our ethos at Union: fresh, local, sustainable, flavorful, and handcrafted. To try this dish or any other currently on themenu at Pasadena please make a reservation via Rezy on Union’s website. Union is located at 37 E. Union Street in Pasadena. They are open weekdays 5 PM to 11 PM and on weekends 4 PM to 11 PM. To keep up with the latest Union information, please also follow Union on Instagram and twitter.