Calamari Stew

Emily asked me to have more diversity in the dinner making for 2009.  In the end, I will never satisfy the entire crew every night.  Its tough to please 3 teenage palettes.  I began last night with a Calamari stew.  Josh and Jess gave it a thumbs up.  Em doesn't like calamari cooked this way.  C'est la vie but Josh's comment was perfect.  "Nice one Mom, diverse."

Beyond easy…and good.  You can serve it with or without pasta.  The pasta was the key to Josh and Fred's heart.  I got this out of Molto Mario's cookbook and played around a bit.

1 Spanish onion – sliced into 1/4" sliced
3 ribs of celery cut in 1/4" slices
1 tbsp. of anchovy paste
2 dried hot chili peppers
1 1/2 cup basic tomato sauce ( you can use shelf bought or make some fresh like I did )
3 lbs of calamari sliced into 1/2" rings, with a few tenacles
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
1 box of frozen peas

Use a 12" deep saute pan for this dish.  Layer the bottom of the dish with olive oil until it starts to smoke.  Add onions, celery, anchovy paste and chili peppers.  Cook on medium heat until golden brown.  Takes 10-15 minutes.

Add tomato sauce, calamari, white wine and vinegar.  Bring to a boil.  Salt and pepper.  Cover and bring to low for about an hour.  After an hour, add peas and simmer for another 10 minutes.  Remove the dried chili peppers before serving because you don't want someone to bite into one by mistake.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Yule Heibel

    I could forward this to my husband and both kids – we are on a treadmill of repeating ourselves. It feels wrong to complain, because we have food and aren’t hungry, but…Between managing generally escalating food prices/constrained budgets and everyone’s various food aversions and/or neuroses about what’s fattening or not, I’m just about ready to …well, throw in the proverbial towel – a kitchen towel! I’m grateful that at least no one in my family has food allergies or intolerances – I know celiacs as well as folks with IBS, and can’t imagine having to make meals around those constraints.That recipe looks good – although I’d have to find substitutes for the calamari, or add something non-shell-fishy for the picky ones to pick out! Chicken? 😉

    1. Gotham Gal

      Use shrimp but only cook for a few minutes vs an hour.

  2. chefbikram

    Fresh calamari yes? and Spanish onion? and any suggestion for skipping the anchovy paste? I would think some fresh grated parmesan or asiago would really hit the spot too?

    1. Gotham Gal

      You can absolutely skip the anchovies. Spanish onion is best here. I amnot a huge fan of cheese with seafood.

      1. Paul Lang

        This sounds a lot like a dish called In Zimino, a very traditional calamari stew from Florence. Next time, specially this time of year, add a bunch of kale or other hearty greens and totally skip the frozen peas. And definitely no cheese!