Saturday, December 17, 2011

Stuffed Squid (Calamari) In Tomato Sauce

Stuffed Calamari (Squid) in tomato sauce
 one of the many 7 Fishes on Christmas Eve Traditions

When I say this is an art,  I mean it takes skill and patience too. Stuffing these, knowing how much not to overfill so they don't explode while cooking, then making sure you secure them are half the battle.... as you can see these were over stuffed and not enough tooth picks! Not much spilled out into the sauce but it could have been a disaster,

A real tradition in my family every Christmas Eve. Mom, from Bari, use to prepare this that night, dad would be so impatient as it was his favorite. Another one of those dishes, when I was a small child I would shun away from. Now, I only wish I could go back in time knowing the art it was to  watch her make this so perfect, tender and delectable as she did, then to learn exactly what she put in hers.  After many years of trying to master her recipe, I finally got a taste that brough tears in my eyes to have a part of her in our home for this holiday season. After all, Christmas Eve is a time for family to be close,  making memories for their kids to pass on, this one will be it for me.
 I have  had her recipes that say ingredients on index cards for years now, there were never amounts written down, until now. This is a memorable treat for me, some of  my family remembers Mom's stuffed calamari for every Christmas Eve,  my kids will now learn our many years of traditional 7 fishes and this dish will now be added with love!
My brothers called them torpedo's. I guess they do look like them.

20 cleaned calamari/squid tubes (This will stuff 20 small tubes. Make a double batch if you have large tubes.)
2 cups bread crumbs Italian flavored
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup Romano grating cheese
2 cloves minced garlic
6 hard boiled eggs finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil or more
Traditional Sunday Sauce (without meat )or your favorite
Pasta of choice boiled in salt water.

In a medium size bowl mix bread crumbs with all seasonings. On the side of the squid opening cut a small slit to open the tops wider. Stuff  the squid using your fingers to get down to the end of the squid being careful not to rip them open at the bottoms and leave expanding space at the tops.  After filling all the squid, secure the tops of each one with tooth picks. I like to brown mine first before adding to the pot of sauce. I saute them in olive oil with some minced garlic until browned. (You don't have to do this step if you don't want to.) I then drop them into a 5 quart pot of  tomato sauce and cook for three hours on low or  more until the squid is soft and tender.
Serve the squid over linguine, percatelli, or your favorite pasta.

The word calamari is the plural form of the Italian word for squid, Calamaro.It's calamar in Spanish. The name derives from the Latin word calamarium for "ink pot."Since calamari seems to sound more palatable than the word squid, you will most often see squid recipes listed as calamari on restaurant menus, recipes, etc. It's one of those words that just "sounds better" or "has class," according to some people. Whether you eat calamari or squid, you're eating the same thing.

Don't forget to check out our other favorite 7 Fishes on Christmas Eve
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