Serves 6

Notes

 

When filling the calamari, use a teaspoon and resist the temptation to overfill the bodies; when cooked the calamari shrink and a small amount of filling will suffice.

 

Ingredients

  • For the Beans:
  • ½ pound Borlotti white beans, baby lima beans or cannellini
  • 2 fresh or dry bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the calamari:
  • 12 squid with bodies 3 to 4 inches long, (total 2 ½ pounds), cleaned
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons shredded carrots
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cognac
  • 2 tablespoons fine dried breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Pinch of peperoncino (crushed red pepper)
  • ½ cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • 1 cup fish broth or Vegetable Broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Lidia’s Italian Table

Cookbook

Lidia’s Italian Table

buy now

Directions

Place the beans in a medium-size bowl and pour in enough cool water to cover by 4 inches. Soak the beans at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain the beans and place them in a medium-size saucepan. Pour in enough cold water to cover generously and add the bay leaves and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Adjust the level of heat to a simmer and cook the beans until tender, about 40 minutes.

In a separate skillet, lightly brown the garlic in oil.  Drain the beans and add them to the skillet.  Stir for a few minutes, salt and pepper to taste.  Discard the bay leaves and set the beans aside.

Chop the squid tentacles fine. In a medium-size skillet heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons each of the onion and shallot and half of the chopped garlic and cook until lightly golden, about 4 minutes. Add chopped tentacles, carrots, zucchini and thyme.  Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook until lightly browned and the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes.  Add cognac and breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, 5 minutes.  Stir in 1/4 cup of the parsley.

Using a small spoon— an espresso spoon is ideal— fill the calamari bodies with the bread crumb mixture, dividing it evenly. Seal the open end of the calamari with a toothpick.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining onion, shallot and garlic and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.  Add stuffed calamari, season with salt and peperoncino and cook, turning the calamari occasionally, until golden on all sides, about 6 minutes. Add wine, reduce the level of heat to medium-low and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.  Add ½ cup of the fish stock and the butter and simmer, turning the calamari occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the cooked beans, remaining stock and parsley. Simmer 5 minutes. There should be enough liquid to coat the beans generously. If not, add water as needed. Check the seasonings and serve, ladling the bean mixture into warm shallow bowls and topping with the stuffed calamari, removing the toothpicks first.

 

Lidia’s Italian Table

Cookbook

Lidia’s Italian Table

buy now