Malto Mario


The Lady & Sons

1,000 Italian Recipes

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble

No, I wasn't concocting a brew made of baboon blood and toad's eyes. Although, that might have been a good idea to ward away the snifflies I've caught this weekend. *sniff*

Calamari alla Veneta
Kind of looks a lil like what you might find in a witch's cauldren, eh?

I can't truly vouch for how good this dinner was myself, as my tasters feel as if they are covered with a thin sheet of visquene, but Hubbs raved about it. Which is good because there's no reason for him to suffer just because I can't taste anything and I know I can make this again once I feel better because it was very easy and quick.

There is one thing I learned though.. I do not like the texture of tentacles unless they've been cooked for hours or fried until golden brown and delicious.

Anyhoo.. what I wanted to accomplish a couple nights ago was picking out something from a newly acquired cookbook for my submission to the WCC #13. Unfortunately, the only cookbook I received for Christmas was Nigella Bites. Unfortunately because after my first flip through it, I wasn't impressed like I was with Feast and after my more in-depth look into it Friday afternoon I still didn't find much that tripped my trigger. At least nothing I could make for dinner. I did find something that I'll be making later today.. stay tuned! Same bat channel! Same bat time!

So I tossed Nigella to the side and picked up my 1,000 Italian Recipes book that I bought many moons ago and haven't really cooked much from. And it was from this book that I chose to make Calamari alla Veneta or Venetian-Style Calamari. This recipe was very easy to put together, very quick to cook with the flavors melding as if they'd simmered for hours (so says Hubbs) and the sauce was very creamy with the addition of a little Parmigiano Reggiano. I decided to serve this with penne, but the recipe says it's traditional to serve with white polenta. I also threw in some sliced kalamata olives just because they were sitting there staring at me.

By the way, if you are looking for a terrific cookbook jam packed with lots of traditional and contemporary Italian recipes, this book is worth the cash. Michele Scicolone is of Italian American descent and like many of us, learned how to cook by watching her parents and grandparents. She has collected recipes from traditional family favorites, to tried and true recipes given to her by friends as well as authentic Italian recipes collected in all regions of Italy in her travels. There is definitely something for everyone in this book. =)

Calamari alla Veneta over Penne
Calamari alla Veneta or Venetian-Style Calamari
Adapted from 1,000 Italian Recipes written by Michele Scicolone

1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled (I gave mine a good smash)
2 lbs. calamari (squid), cleaned and cut into rings
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped or 1 c. chopped canned tomatoes
1/2 c. dry white wine
1/2 c. sliced kalamata olives (My addition, optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb. Penne, cooked to al dente or Polenta (both are optional)

Pour the oil into a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion and garlic to cold skillet (*See note) and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the onion is golden, about 10 minutes. The recipe says to discard the garlic at this point, but to me that's sacrilege - so my garlic stayed in ;)

Add the calamari, tomatoes, wine and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thickened and the calamari are tender, about 30 minutes. Serve hot. In Venice, fish is often served with Polenta with white rather than yellow cornmeal. I chose Penne cooked al dente.

*My Notes: When cooking with garlic and onions in oil or butter, it is best to add all the ingredients into a cold skillet then bring them, slowly, up in temperature together to avoid burning of the vegetables.

If you want to serve this with pasta, your sauce might reduce quite a bit after 30 minutes. I added a couple ladles of the pasta water and maybe 1/4 - 1/3 cup of finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano to make the sauce creamy. Make sure to taste often as the cheese will bring a lot of saltiness to the dish - especially if you decide to add the kalamata olives.

If you decide to serve this without pasta or polenta make sure you have a good crusty bread to sop up the sauce. ;)

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Comments on "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble"


Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (2/04/2007 9:01 AM) : 

It's so easy to forget that pasta water can be used in the sauce.
Soup is always go good when you don't feel 100% and manageable when it's the cook who's the one.
Hope you are feeling better soon.


Blogger Kalyn Denny said ... (2/04/2007 9:20 AM) : 

It sounds quite delicios. I've never cooked anything quite like this. Sorry to hear you're not feeling so hot.


Blogger Gattina Cheung said ... (2/04/2007 9:47 AM) : 

Lis bella, hope you get well soon, I hate not being able to taste anything.
Ok, Michele Scicolne is right on my list!!! And how crude you are ;p... keep tempting me with all these insanely delicious calamri dishes!!! I'll go catch some by the iced river tonight!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/04/2007 9:56 AM) : 


Sorry to hear you're feeling under the weather. My wife's got a yummy bug this weekend herself, so I've been busy making sure she's filled up with chicken soup and resting.

The dish looks awesome. I picked up a taste for calamari when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. Unfortunately the only way I can get most seafood in this part of Texas is frozen. the "Fresh fish" at the market looks like it's been out of the water a bit too long.


Blogger Brilynn said ... (2/04/2007 10:21 AM) : 

That first pic really does look like a witches cauldron, I like it!

Also, if you haven't gone to Dorie's book to look at the carrot cake pic yet, GO! It is 10 billion times more appetizing than mine.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/04/2007 5:12 PM) : 

That do like some witches's brew. I do love the tentacles of the calamari, in fact I go for those first :). Hope you are feeling better, I hate it when I can't taste my food.


Blogger Callipygia said ... (2/04/2007 5:32 PM) : 

Lis, I love squid and this looks delicious and easy- not as long as your dad's famous sauce. Did you actually clean the squid or just buy the already cleaned up "tubes"?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/04/2007 6:39 PM) : 

Feel least you are being nice and making stuff. Poor hubby has been eating hot dogs and take out.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/04/2007 9:23 PM) : 

I hope that you feel better soon. Your hubby is lucky that you love him enough to cook amazing things for him even though you feel lousy!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/05/2007 1:32 AM) : 

Oooooh my god! My mouth is watering after reading that! Too bad it's a stinking 38 degrees C today so much too hot to have the stove going...*sigh* salad for my dinner tonight :(


Blogger Patricia Scarpin said ... (2/05/2007 9:24 AM) : 


That sauce would make my husband's mouth water - he loves calamaris!


Blogger Lis said ... (2/05/2007 9:33 AM) : 

Tanna - You have me craving soup now. I've sent Hubbs to the store for the ingredients for my Italian tortellini soup that I will thoroughly enjoy this evening! hehe

Kalyn - Thanks =) I'm not sure.. but wouldn't this recipe be okay for South Beach using Dreamfield's pasta?

Gattina - Thank you, sweetie =) lol for this recipe I just bought frozen tubes & tentacles.. wasn't fresh at all.

Jerry - please tell your wife I hope she feels better soon! You are a good husband making sure she's got lots of good soup in her :D Seriously, you don't need super fresh calamari for this dish - so go for it. =)

Bril - har! It does, doesn't it? I'll be checkin' out Dorie's picture today.. but seriously, do you think all of her baked goods turn out as gorgeous as the pictures in the books? I mean, does she live with a food stylist?? My guess is yours looks just like hers when she's making it for the family.. totally mouth-wateringly good!

Veronica - Thank you, hon =) When I make this for you I'll give you all the tentacles. :D

Callipygia - No, didn't clean them this time (once a year is enough in my book! hee!) I bought the already cleaned tubes and tentacles.. all I had to do was cut them into rings.

Peabody - Thanks =) Well I can stand.. if I had your injury, my dear man would be eating the same as yours. =)

Kristen - Thank you! Well, he's a wonderful nurse-maid when I'm sick, so it's the least I could do for him. :D

Ellie muh luv - I will trade you your warm weather for this dish in a heart beat! :D

Patricia - Oh! If you make it for him, I'd love to hear both of your opinions on it! =)


Blogger Monkey Wrangler said ... (2/05/2007 6:32 PM) : 

I still haven't made the recipe you gave me and now I'm feeling majorly guilty about it, cause damn girl, you know how to do tasty cephalopod. I'm sure eating this has got to help you feel better, but I'll still give a cyber-hug.....take care.


Blogger Lis said ... (2/06/2007 6:09 AM) : 

awww thanks Dylan =) This recipe is a lot easier and just as tasty as my Dad's sauce.. so if you don't have the time to make the sauce, I highly recommend this dish. =)


Blogger emily said ... (2/06/2007 8:28 PM) : 

Even with the cauldron photo (or perhaps because of it?) I really want to make this . . . I now have a serious calamari craving. Do you think it would be awful if I defrosted frozen squids and used them?
Hope you feel better!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/07/2007 8:23 AM) : 

Wow--that first picture really is mildly frightening, and yet it still sounds tasty. I don't think I've ever had calimari not fried, and I think I might be with you--I'm not sure I'd love the texture. But this might be worth trying, anyway!


Blogger Lis said ... (2/08/2007 8:10 AM) : 

Emily - No, not at all - that's exactly what I did. I always have to use frozen squid where I live. =)

Laura - Go for it! I'd love to read your spin on it. :D


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/10/2007 9:10 AM) : 

delicious, i lobe calamari in red sauce. its very much an italian recipe, my dad makes it. MMM!

hope ur feeling better, sniff.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/23/2007 8:51 AM) : 

Oh my, that calamari dish looks wonderful! I need to try this, but I'm hoping I can talk hubby into eatuing it too. If not, I guess that means more for me!

Love your blog!


Blogger Scooter said ... (2/25/2007 9:05 PM) : 

I know a certain Sicilian Godfather I'll have to cook this recipe for. He loves my cooking. :)


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