Monday, June 22, 2015

Stuffed Calamari with Tomato Sauce, Polenta

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As my June installment of my New Years Resolution I decided to give calamari bodies a try. I have to say this was a really awesome dish. The flavor, texture and look of it was all spot on. It’s easy to do ahead of time too and just cook it when you are ready. I would love to serve this as an appetizer for my next dinner party. Normally I just buy the breaded calamari rings to fry, which is what I did with the little leg parts I call them. I made a tempura batter and then lightly fried them, they only take a few seconds since they are fresh and not frozen so watch them closely or they’ll be overcooked which makes them really chewy.

You could even slice the stuffed calamari as part of the presentation, but I liked them whole.

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Stuffed Calamari with Tomato Sauce, Polenta

(Adapted from Art de Fete)


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For the calamari

  • 10 medium calamari tubes, 2 calamari thinly sliced
  • ½ pound wild-caught shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4-5 sea scallops, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes or pinch of cayenne
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tomato sauce

  • 1 medium-size white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups Roma or wine tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the polenta

  • 1 cup polenta (with truffles)
  • 2 ½ cup water
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Parsley, finely chopped


Make the stuffing:

Cut shrimp and scallops in three pieces. In a food processor, blend shrimp, scallops, 2 sliced calamari tubes and garlic into a coarse paste.


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Transfer to a bowl. Then add cheese, parsley, red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine.


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Kitchen tip:

make a small patty and cook it in the pan for few minutes on both sides, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.


Make stuffed calamari: Using a small spoon, start stuffing the calamari tubes until almost full and shapely, leaving just 1/2 inch opening, pierce and secure with the toothpick.


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To blanched tomatoes: Using a sharp knife, cut an “X” on the bottom of each tomato, it will help to loosen the skin. Place them in rapidly boiling water for 1 minute, then plunge the tomatoes into an ice bath with the slotted spoon. Let them cool slightly, peel the skin off. Chop the tomatoes finely.

Make the sauce: Heat the oil in a large wide-sided skillet, add onions and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Then add tomatoes and sugar, season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.


In a single layer, place stuffed calamari on top of the sauce, cover with the lid and cook for 20 minutes on medium-low heat.


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Make polenta: Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil, add polenta, bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 8 minutes, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve calamari either sliced on the bias or intact on a bed of polenta with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley and extra serving of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top.

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