After waiting for weeks for my local overpriced grocery store to get in some whole squid, I finally caved and went to their other location in nearby Trail today, where I had seen the squid initially. After searching and eventually asking a member of the meat department's staff if they had any packages of frozen squid, I finally struck gold!
This is a dish I'd been wanting to make since I got Giada's Kitchen to review last month. It's super simple, quick, all made in one pot, and if you love calamari, you'll love this. It's also healthy and not terribly high in calories. I stayed true to the original recipe except I omitted the hot pepper flakes because I don't like them.
Calamari Stew by Giada de Laurentiis, adapted slightly by moi
3 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
2 cups dry white wine
2 (15oz/389mL) cans tomato sauce
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2lbs calamari, bodies thinly sliced, tentacles whole (be sure to remove the "spine" from the tubes; it's a clear boney thing that you don't want to eat; I assumed my squid had had this removed along with the innerds, but I was wrong, so I had to remove them myself. It's very easy; they just come free with a slight tug)
Warm olive oil over low heat in a medium pot. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant - about 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium. Slowly add the wine and cook for 1 minute, then add the tomato sauce, thyme, and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes. Stir in the calamari and continue to cook just until the stew comes back to a simmer and the squid is opaque, about 2 more minutes.
I served myself with some toast made from my homemade bread.
This would have been utterly spectacular had I used a decent white wine. Since I don't actually drink wine (I never developed a taste for the stuff) I just take whatever happens to be either the cheapest at the liquor store or whatever my SIL has kicking around her kitchen. If I have leftovers, it hangs out in the fridge until I need it next, even if this means months or even a year. I never tasted the wine before I added it to the stew, though I did sniff it and it smelled winey. Well, um...it must have been a tad...off... because my stew tasted a little off and I know it was the wine. So, lesson learned: use fresh, decent wine.
And...I couldn't resist but be a bit cheeky when I was cutting up my calamari and goof off a bit with the squid tubes:
Yeah, play with your food for sure - from time to time!