Calamarata is a typical Neapolitan first course, its name comes from pasta in the shape of large rings similar to squid rings and served with a sauce of squid (Calamari in Italian language) and fresh tomatoes.
Ok, but Calamarata refers to the pasta shape or to the seasoning?
Both. In addition to being a pasta shape, it is also a condiment whose protagonist, needless to say, is the squid. cut into large rings, it is practically as similar as pasta.
There are many variations of Calamarata, some add seafood, swordfish, as well as the vegetarian version or a mix with potatoes, mussels and clams. In Sicily they prepare it with the addition of aubergine as well as calamari and swordfish.
Although the ingredients and the procedure are very simple, this dish is rich in taste and scent all Mediterranean and as we are talking about Naples, Pasta and Squids, here is the recipe for the classic Neapolitan Calamarata!
Serves 4, Preparation time 20 mins, Cooking time 25-30 mins
- Fresh squid, 600 g
- Pasta Calamarata, 500 g
- Fresh Tomatoes you prefer, 500 g
- Garlic, 2 peeled cloves
- Dry white wine, 1/2 glass
- Chopped parsley, a handful
- EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons
- Salt and black ground pepper, to taste
Wash and clean squids under cold water.
To clean them as best you can, you have to detach their head, remove their eyes and beak, clean the inside of the bag, remove their skin if you want and then cut them into rings, trying to make them about the same thickness as the dough, then about 2 centimeters wide.
Rinse tomatoes under running water and cut them in half.
In a large pan put a couple of tablespoons of Evoo to heat together with the two peeled garlic cloves – you can also add a chilli pepper – and let the oil flavor for a couple of mins without burning the garlic.
Now add the squid cut rings and stir, turn up the flame a little bit to blend them with the white wine and let it evaporate. Lower the flame and now add the fresh tomatoes and let it cook for about 15 or even 20 minutes.
Tip: add salt to the squid? We say yes. It’s not so obvious that cooking with fish means not adding salt. In moderation, sure, but you’ll only know how much of it by tasting.
Meantime, boil pasta in a plenty pot of salted water.
Drain the pasta a couple of minutes in advance to have it ‘al dente’ if you want, otherwise drain it following the cooking time written on the package.
Add drained pasta to the sauce with squid and tomatoes, add chopped parsley, a drizzle of Evoo and a generous sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper and serve.
Tip: if you want to serve the pasta in a different and original way, you can finish the cooking in baked goods. Drain the pasta al dente (so a couple of minutes earlier than normal cooking), dress it with the squid and tomato sauce in the pan, make single-portion packets with baking paper (better avoid the use of foil), seal them well, bake at 200° for about 5 minutes.