Stuffed Squid in Tomato Sauce 

Calamari Ripieni - Calamari ‘Muttunati 

When Zia Bettina prepared the calamari ‘muttunati or chini, she served them with plenty of tomato sauce and with boiled potatoes on the side; I remember that I used to mash the potatoes with the fork and blend into them the delicious tomato sauce.

In this recipe the stuffed squid are cooked in tomato sauce, however they can be broiled, or cooked alla ghiotta, a plain sauce made with water, garlic, parsley and a pinch of tomato paste, to give a little color. Also the calamari ripieni can be baked in an oil coated pan and affogati, drown with 1 ½ cups of white wine.  

This recipe is easy to prepare because the preparation can be done ahead of time and the stuffed squid assembled in the last moment.  

Serves 4 

Ingredients: 

 

The Squid 

·        8 to 10 squid about 6 inches long 

The Stuffing  

·   ½ cup of olive oil 

·   1 small onion finely chopped 

·   2 cloves of garlic finely chopped 

·   1 ½  cups of fresh breadcrumbs without the crust 

·   2 oz pine nuts 

·   2 oz currants or raisins 

·   2 tablespoons pecorino cheese chopped into small cubes 

·   2 tablespoons of chopped parsley 

·   1 teaspoon of sugar (optional) 

·   2 hardboiled eggs 

·   Salt and pepper to taste 

 

The Sauce 

·        3 tablespoons olive oil 

·        1 can 28 oz Italian diced tomato  

·        2 cloves minced garlic 

·        Pinch of oregano 

·        Salt & pepper 

·        ¼ cup parsley 

 

Also needed a rectangular pan 11” x 7” x 2” 

PREPARATION  

 

The Calamari 

To clean the squid separate them into two parts by pulling gently by the tentacles. Set the tentacles and the sacks in separate bowls, and cover with cold water.
Prepare the tentacles by placing each piece on the cutting board and while holding the tentacles cut out the eyes, remove and discard what is attached to them. Discard the little round ball which is the mouth of the squid.
Cut and split the tentacles in half (5 tentacles in each half), if cleaning larger squid split in 3 or 4.
Wash tentacles using salt and rinse a few times to remove any sand attached into the suckers and refrigerate.
To clean the sacks insert your finger inside and remove the transparent cartilage and any other parts left in it. Lay each sack flat on the counter and with the help of a knife peel the skin and remove the wings.   

Wash the sacks thorough under running water and rinse a few times; remove any particle(s) left inside and refrigerate. 

In a smaller pot, place the tentacles, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Shut off the heat and leave tentacles in the cooking water for an additional 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove and cool; chop them finely and set on the side.  

 

The Stuffing 

In a sauté pan, over a medium heat, place 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the onion and sauté until golden. Add the fresh bread crumbs and keep stirring until crumbs are light brown. Set aside in a large bowl to cool.  

Add the chopped tentacles, the garlic, cheese, pine nuts, raisins, parsley and the remaining olive oil. 

Peel and roughly chop the eggs, add and stir into the stuffing with one teaspoon of sugar (optional). Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
Stuff each squid with about a tablespoon of the mixture,
pin closed across the opening with a tooth pick to seal and place in a tray and refrigerate until ready to cook them. Do not over fill the calamari with the stuffing.   

 

The Sauce 

In a large bowl mix the garlic with a few drops of olive oil and with a spoon pound the garlic and oil. Add the tomatoes, chopped parsley, the remaining oil, oregano (optional), cup of water and black pepper. Mix well and taste for salt. Set aside, do not refrigerate.  

 

The Stuffed Squid 

Place the stuffed squid on a lightly greased rectangular pan 11” x 7” x 2” and cover with the tomato sauce. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil. 

Bake at 375’ for 45 minutes covered, and continue for an additional 15 minutes uncovered; or continue baking until squid are tender. 

We suggest to use some of the sauce as condiment to a pound of spaghetti or linguine and to serve the stuffed squid with a salad or boiled potatoes. 

 

                         Calamari Ripieni