Well Dear Readers did you miss me? I would like to think that you did. I had a few days R & R and didn't have to cook a single meal!!! I did get withdrawal symptoms (especially from my blog space!!)
While I was away I bought some beautiful tomatoes - they are a cross between cherry tomatoes and roma tomatoes (can't remember their specific name) they are just beautiful. So red and plump, and they smell divine. What to do with these little beauties??
I had seen a recipe recently for a Calamari Ragu. Interesting concept. Calamari can be a food that is often quite chewy - how does one go about "stewing" it for 30 minutes without turning it into rubber? Well luckily I happen to be quite friendly with my local fish shop proprietor - (I want to say fish monger - but she is a girl and I don't think it seems quite appropriate to call her that - for those of you in the know - I shop at Seafood@ Hornsby and Irene and her crew will always look after you!!). Anyway Irene gave me the "tip" to this dish.
I have modified this recipe to use cherry tomatoes as the base for the sauce, rather than using canned tomatoes. For those of you following - you will notice this base is very similar to the crab pasta last week (when you are on a good thing - stick to it!!)
2 x punnets of cherry tomatoes
1 tbs Olive oil
2-3 cloves crushed garlic
1 cup white wine
pinch crushed dried chillies (optional)
1 1/2 cups fish stock
600g calamari hoods
300g dried fettucini
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbs sour cream
2 tbs shredded basil
With the calamari (buy the cleaned hoods - much easier and less mess!!) - slit the hood down the side to open it out into one piece. Gently score the inside in a criss cross manner. Slice it into pieces approximately 2cm x 5cm long. Now pay attention dear reader here is the tip! Put the pieces into a saucepan - cover with water and bring it to the boil. Once the water is boiling turn the heat off - place the saucepan lid on, and leave it for at least 20 minutes. I had to go out to sport - so mine sat there for over 2 hours!! When it has finished sitting drain the calamari well.
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a fry pan over medium high heat. Gently fry the pieces of calamari in batches until they are lightly golden - this should only take a few minutes - do not over cook - put them aside on a plate.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a frypan. Add the garlic and the tomatoes and gently fry them (stirring constantly) until they start to pop. Once they start popping give them a gentle push to help them release all their juices. Once they have all popped add the wine, simmer for a minute or 2 and then add the fish stock. (At this point if you are adding the chilii flakes - add them now.) Simmer this for about 10 minutes or until the sauce starts to reduce. Add the calamari and simmer for 30 minutes.
Put the pan of water on to to boil for the pasta, and when you have 10 minutes cooking time left, cook your fettucini.
When the pasta is cooked drain and set aside. To the calamari mixture add the sour cream and basil. Stir gently to heat through.
Plate up your fettucini, placing a generous serving of the ragu over the pasta.
Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Not rubbery at all!!