My favourite way of stuffing calamari is to create a little risotto using the tentacles and stuffing the body with this. Then I roast the whole thing in the oven until tender.
2 Calamari about 1kg tentacles set aside and minced
1 small Onion minced
3 cloves Garlic minced
Half glass red Wine
200g risotto Rice
2 eggs whisked
350 ml Fish Stock
1/2 tsp Chili Flakes
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Mild Curry
1 tbsp Marjoram
Heat oven to 220°C. Saute onion, garlic and tentacles in a little olive oil. Once sealed add rice and dry roast for two minutes. Add spices and herbs and mix for another minute. Add wine and deglaze with wooden spoon. Mix in stock gently and lower to a simmer. Add all the stock and peas and cover. After 15 minutes the stock should be absorbed and the rice cooked al dente. Allow to cool, mix in egg, adjust seasoning and stuff the squid with the risotto using a spoon. Make sure to press right to the bottom and fill to the top. Close the end using toothpicks. Put in a baking tray, sprinkle with sliced garlic, season with salt and pepper and drizzle liberally with olive oil. Place in hot oven. After 15 minutes add a generous helping of wine in the dish, and bake for another 30-45 minutes, basting occasionally until the skin is easily pierced with a fork.
Several variations can be used such as adding raisins and pine nuts, stewing in a tomato sauce instead of baking, the possibilities are endless 🙂
This recipe is only wonderful if it’s really fresh. You can get powdered ink but it is not as tasty. Seeing that they are in season it’s a good time to try it. I like to add tomato to give the sauce more body but these can be omitted to get a more jet black colour.
The anatomy of the cuttle fish is a bit confusing so it’s best to ask the fishmonger to clean it, remove the cartilage and detach the ink sacs. I like to put the sacs in a little bit of hot water to dissolve and remove from the membrane. The beak and eyes need to be removed and the rest cut into strips. Otherwise it’s pretty straight forward so enjoy!
250g Cuttle-fish, cleaned and cut in strips with ink sacs detached.
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 pinch Chili Flakes
1/2 cup White Wine
3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped a small tin can be substituted
200g Spaghetti or Linguine
Heat a pan to medium high. Add oil and saute the cuttlefish for a few minutes. Add garlic and chili and stir for another minute. Add the wine. Keep your face away as this might flame up which can be impressive to your guest unless you light up your facial hair!
Add tomatoes, lower heat, cover and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile cook the pasta aldente. Check the cuttlefish and when tender add the ink, stir and simmer another couple of minutes. Toss the pasta with the sugo in the pan and plate
Calamari are extremely tasty but can be awkward to cook as they vary by age, freshness and ways of cooking. The adage is that you either cook them very quickly on high heat or slow cook them on liquid. We all love crispy deep-fried Calamari in batter or patted in flour, semolina or breadcrumbs. Stewed slowly in wine and loads of garlic they are to die for.
600g Calamari cleaned and cut into squares 2 large cloves Garlic minced 1 chilli finely chopped 1 glass White Wine 1 tsp Kunserva/ tomato puree 1 small can Tomato Polpa 1 large fresh Tomato grated 3 tsp Capers 1 tbs + EV Olive Oil 250g Sedani
Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan on a medium high flame. Add olive oil and saute the calamari until they start to colour. Add the garlic, chilli and tomato puree and toss for a minute. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and add the tomatoes. You can use either fresh or tinned subject to availability, I used both. In winter sometimes tomatoes are grown indoors and are not as tasty. Grating them through the big holes separates them from the skin and creates a passata.
Lower flame, add the capers and simmer while you cook the pasta. Roughly it should be ready in twenty minutes but check at intervals as cooking time can vary Bon appetit
What I love about Sicily is that when you go for a stroll by the sea you encounter a bewildering variety of delicious, yet simple, food offerings. Using just a few but fresh and tasty ingredients they combine them in the best ways possible to titillate your senses as you sit by the sea and enjoy its fruits
More known for the Sugo Nero di Sepia, Cuttlefish is also very tasty without the ink. Inspired by the ingenious simplicity of Sicilian cuisine this recipe starts off with the cuttlefish sautéed with garlic, chilli and olive oil, deglazed with white wine and simmered with tomatoes and a touch of capers.
If you want to make Sugo Nero add the ink sacs from the cuttlefish
Cuttlefish 500g cut in 1cm squares. You can ask fishmonger to clean cuttlefish and save the ink if using. If doing yourself make sure to remove the cartilage and innards
Garlic 2 cloves crushed
Chilli Flakes 1/2 tsp
Olive Oil 1tbsp
White Wine glass
Tomatoes 3 chopped. I used very ripe beef tomatoes but long cherry tomatoes cut in half are good as well
Capers 1tbsp preferably Maltese
Spaghetti or Linguine 500g
Heat olive oil on medium high heat and add garlic and chilli for 1 minute. Add cuttlefish for about 5 minutes until the translucent bits turn white then add the wine. This might flame a bit don’t panic! Turn down heat add tomatoes and capers and a dash of water. Cover and simmer until tender about 20-30 minutes. If it gets dry add water from pasta, if it’s too liquidy take off lid and turn up heat towards end of cooking. Meanwhile cook spaghetti al dente in lots of well-salted water. Drain and mix in the pan