Stuffed Calamari

Stuffed Calamari

 Calamari (squid) cooks very quickly.  If you over cook it, it will get tough.  If you do cook it too much, all is not lost because long cooking will tenderize it.  So if you go more than 3-4 minutes, put the calamari in a dish, cover it with the tomato sauce, cover it and bake it for 30-35 min at 350 degrees.

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil slivered
  • 12 oz pre cleaned calamari (many Asian grocery stores sell it frozen)
  • Stale Italian bread, crusts removed and centers crumbled (enough to make ¼ cup of fine crumbs – I used a rosemary olive Italian bread – yum)
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp total minced fresh parsley, oregano and chives
  • ¼ cup finely chopped ham
  • Beaten egg or egg substitute (small quanitity just to bind the stuffing)
  • Nice grind of fresh pepper
  • 6 oz small dried pasta
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Sauce:

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil til soft.  Add white wine and tomatoes.  Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and cook until sauce is thick.  Add basil and set aside.

Pull the tentacles off of the calamari and set them aside.  Rinse the insides of the hoods.  They should be clean but discard anything inside them, including the plastic-like fin if it remains.  Drain them and set the hoods aside. 

Chop the tentacles and sauté them for 30 seconds over high heat in a small quantity of olive oil.  Turn them out into a bowl.  Add bread crumbs, cheese, ham, herbs and enough pepper to taste.  Bind the mixture just very lightly with a small quantity of egg.

Use your hands to stuff the calamari hoods with stuffing.  Do not over stuff as the mixture will expand lightly.  Leave the opening unstuffed so the two sides will come together. Spray all sides of the calamari with olive oil spray.  Flatten them slightly.

Bring water to boil in a pasta pot.  When water is boiling, add pasta.  Stir occasionally.  Cook for about 9-10 min or until al dente.

Heat up a non-stick skillet over very high heat.   Carefully add stuffed calamari, taking care not crowd them in the pan.  Cook until brown on one side (about one minute) and then carefully flip them over with a spatula onto the other side. 

Remove them from the pan and dress them lightly with about 1/3 of the tomato sauce.  Mix the remaining sauce with the drained pasta.  Sprinkle pasta with grated Parmesan cheese.

Fresh spinach sautéed in garlic olive oil makes a nice accompaniment.

Serves 4

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