The last time I shopped at Anderson Seafoods I purchased some calamari. We both love it and again, living here in beef country it’s hard to come by our favorite seafood. One of the things we really enjoy is calamari. I made a variation of this recipe the last time I had some squid on hand – Calamari with Quick Tomato Sauce on Rice – but this time I didn’t have the fresh tomatoes on hand so I went with dried. I also pumped up the flavor with some basil and made it a heartier dish with penne instead of rice.
The one pound package was enough to feed us for this meal and I kept enough aside to make stuffed calamari which was something I’ve been wanting to try for a while. That recipe will show up sometime later. I realize that not everyone likes squid but it really is very mild in taste and as long as you don’t overcook it, it is not rubbery to eat.
What I really liked about the product from Anderson is that it is wild caught right here in the USA. It came frozen so I let it thaw in my refrigerator over night.
I pulled out 8 of the cleaned tubes to save for my stuffed calamari for the next night and used the rest for this meal. It was about half a pound for each dinner.
Penne and Calamari with Tomato and Basil
1/2 lb calamari, tubes cut into slices
3 cups cooked penne
1 cup dried tomatoes, rehydrated with the water saved
3 – 4 cloves garlic minced
1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS fresh basil, ripped into pieces
1 TBS vodka, optional
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese to grate over the top
1. Heat the olive oil over med-high heat in the bottom of a heavy saute pan (I was using the pot I had cooked the penne in). Add the garlic and let it cook until the fragrance releases.
2. Add the rehydrated tomatoes and some of the reserved tomato water and let them cook until a sauce begins to form.
3. Add the basil and more tomato water as needed. If you are adding the vodka do so now. Adjust seasonings for salt and pepper.
4. Lower the heat to medium and add in the calamari and cook gently.
Just as the calamari is turning opaque add in the penne and stir gently until the calamari is evenly mixed with the pasta. Turn off the heat and let it sit, covered for about 5 minutes.
To serve place the finished pasta on the plate and grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over top. I had some roasted green beans for the vegetable that night.
We both loved this dish – the dried tomatoes always rehyrate with so much flavor. Basil is one of my favorite herbs. I gave him all the tentacle for as much as I adore calamari I won’t eat them. Heh. The stuffed calamari I made the next night was really good – even better I think. I went with Middle Eastern flavors. You’ll just have to wait and see….