One of my favorite pasta dish from Southern Italy, with a ring shaped pasta and fresh squids in a flavorful tomato sauce. A dish that it’s perfectly delicious any time of the year and any day of the week. You’ll feel like you’re eating it at a seaside restaurant in Italy.
What is Calamarata?
Calamarata is the name of this dish, as well as the name of a pasta shape. The name Calamarata comes from Calamari, which means Squids in Italian (yes, you read that right. Calamari is the name of the animal, not just the name of the fried squid dish).
In the Calamarata traditional recipe, is usually used the homonym pasta shape. The pasta is in a shape of a large ring, which when cooked looks exactly like squid rings. You can hardly tell them apart when they’re coated in tomato sauce which makes it also fun to eat!
In this recipe I used Paccheri pasta, which is similar but larger. I love this pasta shape and I used it before in my recipe of Pasta with creamy mint Zucchini sauce and Shrimps. I couldn’t find Calamarata pasta here so I had to go with the next best option. It still a great pasta shape for this kind of dish but it’s less whimsical.
How to clean Squids
You can make this recipe with frozen squids too, but if you have available fresh squids in your local market, I suggest you to go for it for a more flavorful and special meal. Fresh squids are not too expensive but they make a difference since they’re the main ingredient of this recipe.
Cleaning squids it’s not as bad as gutting fishes, but it’s also not the most pleasant thing. It also takes some time.
- Pull the head out of the body. Most of the insides should come out too. Cut just after the eyes, careful to remove the central tooth too. Set the tentacles aside and toss the rest.
- Wash well the inside of the squid, making sure it’s completely empty. Remove the bone too.
- With your fingers, peel the skin from the outside of the mantle and the fins.
- Wash well both body and tentacles. Now they’re ready to be chopped and cooked.
If you like squids and tomato sauce, you absolutely need to try this recipe for Stuffed Squids in Tomato sauce!
“Calamarata” Pasta with Squid and Tomato sauce
- 200 g (7 oz) Calamarata or Paccheri Pasta
- 2-3 Large Squids
- 10 Cherry Tomatoes halved
- 1 cup Tomato Sauce
- 1 Garlic clove minced
- 1/2 glass White Wine
- EV Olive Oil
- Parsley finely chopped
- Chili pepper flakes
- Clean the squids as described in the post above, then chop them into rings and cut the tentacles in 2-3 parts, vertically.
- Drizzle a pan with olive oil, then add the minced garli. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the squids. After a couple of minutes, pour the white wine and let it evaporate completely.
- Add the halved cherry tomatoes and cook a few minutes until they start to mush. Add the tomato sauce and turn down the heat.
- Adjust with salt and chili pepper flakes (and sugar if needed), then let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to boil, then cook the pasta according to the package instructions, drain when it’s al dente.
- Add the squid sauce to the pasta and serve immediately, sprinkling fresh chopped parsley on top.
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