These Calamari tubes stuffed with garlicky potatoes and served with a delicious tomato sauce can be served at the Holiday table or at any other occasion for dinner or lunch. It’s a simple dish with few ingredients but the result is a delicious seafood main course which the whole family will love.
One of the great things about Tuscany, in Italy, is that it has all of the best food influences. We have a seaside, which provides great fish and seafood from the Tirreno sea. We have mountains, which provide the goodness of the forest, like mushrooms and wild game meat. And we have the countryside, which provide great wine, olive oil, cereals, vegetables and all the simple ingredients which feed the poor peasants for centuries and which created the great Tuscan traditional cuisine.
Although Tuscany, unlike many other Italian regions, is deeply divided within itself. Most cities have their own dialect, traditions and untouchable recipes. Some cities, like Pisa and Livorno or Siena and Florence, are in a silent war since the 15th Century. They hate and mock each other and they don’t even know why anymore. It’s one of the fun quirkiness about Tuscan people.
But even so, every family try to be unite with food. You will hardly find Cacciucco (seafood soup typical from Livorno) in restaurants outside Livorno and Pici pasta (a thick pasta typical from Siena, See the recipe for Pici all’Aglione or Pici Cacio e Pepe) in restaurants outside Siena’s province. But you may easily find them in any family’s kitchen, where food is the most important thing. Even if it comes from an enemy’s book.
About Stuffed Calamari
Stuffed Calamari or stuffed squids, is not a traditional recipe from Tuscany. It comes from the South of Italy, near the Mediterranean sea, where they like to stuff almost everything.
Most of the recipes for stuffed calamari have the stuffing made with only chopped calamari, breadcrumbs, eggs, garlic and parsley. But my grandma used to add also boiled potatoes to the stuffing and I always loved the creaminess that they add, so this is how I keep doing it as well.
One of the great things about this dish is that can make a whole meal. The calamari infuse their flavour in the tomato sauce and it is so delicious that you can use it as pasta sauce. You can then serve the squids together with the pasta or afterwards as main course.
If you cannot find the large calamari, you can do the same recipe using small ones!
Stuffed Calamari with Tomato Sauce
For the Calamari
- 250 g (0.5 lb) Potatoes
- 1 kg (2 lb) Calamari/Squids
- 2 slices of crustless Bread
- 1 Garlic clove
- 1/4 cup (50 ml) Milk
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 cup (60 g) Breadcrumbs
- White Wine
- Chili Pepper flakes
- EVO Oil
For the Sauce
- 2 Garlic cloves
- EVO Oil
- 1 can Cherry Tomatoes purèed or chopped
- Black Pepper
- Chili Pepper flakes
Clean thoroughly the calamari and remove the tentacles, leaving the tubes clean and intact. Set the tubes aside.
Boil the peeled potatoes in salted water for about 20 minutes, or until a fork can pierce them easily. Drain the potatoes, mash them and set them aside to cool down.
Drizzle a pan with olive oil and sautè the garlic clove until it starts to brown. Add the chopped squid tentacles to the pan and sautè a couple of minutes. Remove the garlic and add the chopped bread.
Let it brown for a couple of minutes, then pour a dash of white wine and it evaporate completely.
Remove from heat and let it cool down completely. Add the mashed potatoes, the egg, the breadcrumbs, the milk and the finely chopped parsley.
Mix well and season with salt, black pepper, chili pepper flakes and a pinch of ground nutmeg.
With a spoon or with your hands, stuff the calamari, leaving at least 2-3 cm (1 inch) from the top, as the squids will shrink a lot while cooking. Close the top with a toothpick.
In a large pan, drizzle some olive oil and sautè the garlic cloves for a couple of minutes. Add the squids and brown on all sides, then set them aside.
Add the tomatoes and season with salt, black pepper and chili pepper flakes. (If too acidic, add also a teaspoon of sugar).
Turn down the heat and let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes, then add the calamari back in the pan and cook for another 15-20 minutes.
Let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving (otherwise the filling will be too soft), the add a generous amount of finely chopped parsley and enjoy!