Stuffed Monterey calamari with celery and raisins
This simple and satisfying calamari dish can be used as an antipasti or a main course.
Executive Chef Rocky Maselli
A16 Rockridge, Oakland
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4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp. tomato paste
4 tbsp. white wine vinegar
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt, to taste
12 cleaned calamari
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup finely grated pecorino cheese
3 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tbsp. finely chopped oregano
Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add celery, garlic and pepper flakes. Cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook until caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add vinegar, wine, tomatoes, raisins and bay leaf. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Check seasoning and adjust with kosher salt. Set sauce aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Chop calamari tentacles and add to skillet. Cook for 30 seconds or until cooked through and tender. Remove from heat. Stir in breadcrumbs, pecorino, parsley, half of the pine nuts and oregano. Season with salt. Stuff each calamari body half full with breadcrumb mixture. Use a toothpick and seal the end of the calamari and then place in a baking dish. Pour sauce over calamari and bake until warmed through, about 18 to 20 minutes. Garnish with remaining pine nuts and serve.
Note: Do not overstuff the calamari body as it will shrink while cooking and the stuffing will burst the calamari.