Food Flirt

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Location: Petaluma, California, United States

Jacqueline is an international award winning journalist whose stories about food never fail to tantalize her reader's taste buds.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Calamari Linguini With Ink Sauce

I recently visited the newly opened California Academy of Natural Science in Golden Gate Park with my granddaughters. It's an amazing place, filled with spectacular displays and creatures. The aquarium is gigantic and is home to a huge variety of fish. Penguins frolic nearby and a beautiful all white alligator lives in a swamp. The planetarium show was thrilling and walking through an artificial rain forest with colorful butterflies and twittering birds was a real treat.

At lunchtime we went into the food court where a huge variety of foods from all over the world were available: Spanish, Asian, Mexican, Italian, American, French, African, etc. On the menu board at the Italian counter I spotted a listing for Calamari Linguini with Calamari ink sauce. Well, that's a very uncommon dish and I was surprised to find it in a museum café of all places. Of course I had to have some and was pleasantly surprised that the dish was prepared fresh and served piping hot. Of course my granddaughters turned up their little noses when I offered them a taste but I was delighted with my choice.

A friend of mine in Venice, Italy prepares a similar sauce using Seppie, which is a cuttlefish very near to squid, and serves it over golden yellow polenta. That is a favorite of mine and she makes it for me whenever I am visiting her in Venice. You can imagine how beautiful the dish looks with the bright yellow polenta and the inky black sauce on top.

Here is a recipe for you to try.

Calamari (squid) linguini with Ink Sauce

1 lb fresh Calamari
1/2 lb linguini
1/3 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
hot water
salt and pepper
1 packet of Calamari ink*

Have your fishmonger clean the calamari for you. If the ink sack is available, be sure to have it packaged along with the calamari.

Cut tentacles from the body and wash calamari under cold water. Dice the body into rings, and chop the tentacles in half lengthwise.

Heat garlic in oil until just golden.

Add parsley and ground pepper, cover and let it simmer for 45min.
Check from time to time; if it's sticking, add some hot water. Once it has simmered, mix the tomato sauce with the white wine and add it to the pot.

Simmer for 20 minutes more, uncovered, then dilute the sauce with a little hot water and simmer for a half hour more, covered (sauce's consistency can be adjusted to your liking).

30 minutes before meal, cook pasta al dente.

Add the ink to the sauce, as much or as little as you like.

Serve sauce over pasta with the rest of the white wine.

*If Calamari ink is not available at your fishmonger, it's possible to order online. Try buying it through:


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8:31 PM  

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