Serves 4 to 6
Whenever stuffing anything one is often tempted to over stuff. Well the elegance in this dish is to stuff it lightly. When you cook fish or meat, keep in mind that it always tightens a bit, and there is nothing worse than lots of packed stuffing. So keep it light, follow the recipe.
- 12 medium calamari with tentacles, cleaned (about 3 1/2 pounds)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon peperoncino
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Chop calamari tentacles and set aside. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped tentacles, chopped thyme, 1 teaspoon of the salt and the peperoncino. Cook and stir until tentacles are cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the white wine and reduce until syrupy. Stir in the scallions and remove from the heat. Scrape into a large bowl and stir in the bread crumbs and chopped parsley. Let cool.
2. When the filling is cool, lay the calamari bodies out on your work surface. Fill each body with about 2 to 3 tablespoons filling, Do not over fill the calamari, it is okay if there is a little stuffing left. With toothpicks, pin calamari closed by sticking the toothpick up then down through the wider opening of the body.
3. Oil a 13-by-9-inch Pyrex or similar size baking pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Lay calamari in the baking pan in one layer. Sprinkle any remaining stuffing over the calamari. Pour in 1/4 cup water, drizzle with remaining tablespoon olive oil and season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover tightly with foil and bake until calamari are cooked through and liquid is simmering, about 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until calamari are golden on top, about 10 minutes. If calamari is done and there is still too much liquid in the pan, remove calamari to a platter and pour sauce into a small skillet and reduce on top of the stove until slightly thickened. Serve calamari with the sauce.