One aspect of Italian food and the Mamma’s who cook it, that gets very little recognition, is that she is usually very clever with her food budget and will inevitably be cooking that one special meal but at the same time she is planning to serve it in two or three different ways. This is one of those meals. This stuffed calamari recipe was served up at a dinner party for family and friends, two days later dinner was a plate of spaghetti made with the left-over sauce, and the following day I made a Frittata out of the left over pasta and served it with a salad for lunch. That is three meals for the price, time and effort of one.
Calamari is not expensive to buy and if it’s stuffed with well seasoned rice, mushrooms or and veggies it delivers oodles of deep flavour AND is great value for money offering the luxury of seafood that won’t require you to get a second bond on your home. TrickyRicky and I spend most Saturdays or Sundays in the kitchen cooking together and then assemble la famiglia and friends around the table to enjoy it with us.
This is a classic Italian recipe from the book that I was gifted last Christmas; The Silver Spoon (Il Cucchiaio d’Argento) is a door-stop of a book that was originally printed in 1950 in Italian and has 1263 pages of authentic Italian recipes that families have been cooking and passing down for generations and centuries.
Tricky and I chose this recipe because we had some packets of beautiful calamari and wanted to invite family over. So how do you make calamari go a long way? You stuff them and cook them in a nice sauce. At the end of the post I have also included the method to clean the calamari and how to make a tasty stock with prawn heads.
Squid Stuffed With Prawns
Calamari Ripieni Ai Gamberetti
1 potato unpeeled
4 large squid cleaned
300g cooked prawns, peeled and chopped – I used fresh uncooked prawns and made
a stock from the shells to add more flavour to the sauce.
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4Tbs Olive Oil
2 chopped onions
4 garlic cloves chopped
1 chopped red chilli
2 glasses of dry white wine
1tin of peeled tomatoes squashed up by hand
1 bunch of parsley and 1 bunch of basil – chopped finely
Salt & Pepper
extra parsley for garnishing
nb: I cooked this dish for 12 guests which is why you see me boiling
a whole pot of potatoes and stuffing loads of calamari.
Cook the potato in salted, boiling water for 20 – 30 minutes until tender,
then drain, peel and mash wath a potato masher
Cook the squid tentacles in salted boiling water for 3 minutes then drain and chop
Mix together the mashed potato, chopped tentacles, chopped prawns and egg yolks in a
bowl and season with a 1/4 tsp of nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
Make sure that you season the stuffing well.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag or a plastic bag
with the corner cut off and pipt into the body sacs of the squid,
being careful not to overfill them and secure with cocktail sticks.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic, one chopped red chilli,
onion and chicken stock cube and cook
for a few minutes until browned.
Deglaze the pan with 2 glasses of dry white wine.
Add the prawn stock and reduce by two thirds.
Add the tinned tomatoes and Passata with herbs and pepper and cook on
a high heat for 20 minutes.
Pat the stuffed calamari tubes dry on a kitchen towl and lighlty
grill them in a griller pan to get some nice markings.
Add the squid to the pan and cook on a simmer uncovered on a medium heat for
another 30 – 40 minutes until the calamari is nice and tender and the sauce
has reduced and thickened.
Check for seasoning and serve them garnished with some
fresh parsley and either a savoury rice or salad.
The Second Meal I got from the leftovers was Spaghetti with the leftover sauce
Third meal was a Frittata made with the rest of the left over spaghetti.
How to clean Calamari
Remove the head
Under running water clean out the cavity taking care to remove the cartilegde from the inside
Pull off the outer skin – wash and pat dry.
How to make Stock from the Prawn heads and bodies
Place the prawn heads and bodies together with 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped
stick of celery, 1 large onion chopped, 1 bay leaf, 5 black pepper corns and 2 tsp of
salt – add water to just cover the contents.
Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for half an hour.
After half an hour sieve out all of the liquid making sure
that you squash all of the heads and get every last drop of
This would a great meal to prepare on Saturday and invite the family or friends
over on Sunday to watch
the Bokke beat Australia – then serve as a lunch.