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17 April 2014

Squidy Delciousness

I told y'all I'd be back soon with a recipe right? Back soon = 2 weeks. Sorry. Basically this recipe is stolen from Martha. It all starts with my favorite restaurant in Atlanta- Boccalupo. The chef of said restaurant has been my favorite ever since I first tasted his cooking at La Pietra Cucina which has since semi-shuttered (it's been renamed, rebranded, and rechefed as LPC). At La Pietra Chef Bruce Logue had this excellent app on  the menu that was one of my favorites Calamari in Sicilian tomato brodetto with pine nuts and caperberries.  Basically small rings of squid in this amazing thin tomato sauce with sweet bites of raisins, acidic caperberries, and the interesting flavor profile of pine nuts. There were some tiny pearl like pasta in it as well. For about a year in between La Pietra and Boccalupo the Chef wasn't cooking, which means I was deprived of this delicious dish. When he opened his new restaurant it just so happened to be situated less than 1 mile from my house (OH Happy Day!). I was so glad to see the calamari made it back on the menu; first as an entree then as an app. I wish it would be offered up in either sized portion. I typically make it there once a month... its not the cheapest place...and I generally have to get one homemade pasta dish, if not 2, an appetizer (typically the calamari), and a glass of wine (or 2 or 3).  I was trying to cut down my spending lately and it occurred to me that I should try and make the calamari at home.  I went on the internet in search of tomato/squid recipes and stumbled across two that looked similar.  Martha's recipe happened to be the one I tried first and the one that most reminds me of the dish at Boccalupo.  Now that I make this bad boy at home I don't ever get it anymore at the restaurant, but Chef Bruce should worry not because I still have yet to make a promising homemade linguine or pappardelle.

Sauteed Calamari with Tomatoes, Pine Nuts, and Raisins
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup and 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp minced salted anchovies
Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
One 32-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp capers
1 bunch basil leaves
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
3 tbsp golden raisins
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds squid, cleaned, tentacles removed and trimmed, and bodies cut into very thin rings
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Thinly slice the garlic cloves. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic,anchovies, and red pepper flakes; cook until garlic has browned. Stir in tomatoes; transfer to oven and roast until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.

Add capers, basil, pine nuts, and raisins; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper; place over low heat to keep warm.

Heat a large skillet and add 3 tablespoons olive oil; heat until smoking. Add squid, cook, stirring constantly, until squid rings begin to open up and become firm, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomato sauce to skillet, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until squid is opaque and sauce is hot, 2 to 3 minutes.

Divide calamari evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon zest and parsley. Serve immediately with toasted bread to sop up the delicious sauce.  

**I buy my squid already cleaned and prepped in the frozen section at whole foods.  You can buy just the body and cut them into rings, but I prefer bodies and tentacles.

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