Red, white and green are my favorite colors in a plate. They epitomize freshness and Mediterranean cooking which influence my cooking a lot.
Red, white and green are also the colors of the Italian flag. On a special occasion that commemorates the country, I would usually think of making a Green, White & Red Salad like what I did during the 150th Year of Italy last year. For last year's Festa della Repubblica (Festival of the Republic), I did the Farfalle Italiane with Matcha Green Tea, Pistachios, Raisins & Zucchini .
Festa della Repubblica (Festival of the Republic) is celebrated every 2nd day of June and it commemorates the referendum of 1946 when the Italian population was called to decide between monarchy or republic as the form of government to give to the country after the Second World War and the fall of Fascism. After 85 years of monarchy, Italy became a Republic, and the monarchs of the House of Savoy were deposed and exiled. This is one of the most important Italian national holidays that celebrates the birth of the nation.
For this year, I thought of cooking a typical seafood plate that you would usually find on any Italian table on special occasions. Every country has a version of this I believe. In fact, everyone has his/her own version of a stuffed calamari. I love calamari ripieni but I don't love every single one I have tried. I have tried only a few that I really liked.
This is not the first calamari ripieni recipe that I tried doing but this is definitely the first that made me smack my lips and declare that I got it this time. It never occurred to me to put some ham to lift the taste. Originally, from the recipe of Cucchiaio d'Argento, prosciutto crudo (raw ham) is written as the kind of ham to use but I never liked the taste of cooked prosciutto crudo so I replaced it with speck, the smoked ham from South Tyrol. All the rest fit perfectly.
Have a good weekend.
I would like to thank the ones who had joined my giveaway. If you haven't yet, please take a look at this link and see the giveaway of Bronte pistachios, almond paste brick and Sicilian dried oregano. It is going on until Sunday, the 3rd of June at 12 Midnight, Rome Time (GMT +2). Thank you!
Calamari Ripieni (Stuffed Calamari)Ingredients:
- 4 big calamari
- 2 slices of bread, finely crumbled
- bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 1 garlic, minced
- 1 onion,minced
- 100 grams speck, (or other kinds of smoked ham) finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 200 grams tomato puree
- 300 ml. white wine
- Clean the calamari. Separate the tentacles from the bodies. Chop the tentacles finely.
- Sautè the garlic & onion in a pan with 1 tablespoon extra virgin. When they turn transparent, add the prosciutto, bread and a lot of parsley.
- Sautè for about 2 minutes. Add the tentacles. Cook until the water almost evaporates. Add 2/3 of white wine on medium - high flame. Cook until the wine evaporates and the sauce thickens.
- Cook for about 10 minutes. Turn off the fire. Let it cool until room temperature.
- Fill up the calamari with the filling. Close them with food sticks. Leave the liquid of the filling in the saucepan.
- Pour the remaining oil in the saucepan. Put the stuffed calamari in the pan when the oil is hot. Brown all sides.
- Pour the remaining white wine on medium - high fire. Let it evaporate.
- Pour the tomato puree in the saucepan. Let it boil then simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.
- Serve the stuffed calamari with tomato sauce on top.