When Kiddo was just a wee little kiddo, he moved through the world like a little adult. He traveled with us everywhere, and developed a taste for the finer establishments. Unfortunately, by the time he was a teenager, his tastes changed. It was pizza and burgers and greasy-spoon dives. Typical teenage things.
Now that kiddo is all grown up, he has returned to that person who appreciates fine foods. He has also turned into a bit of a snob when it comes to wines. No screw-tops for this boy. And that’s good because we like a fine wine with dinner. If only I can get him to dress the part like he did when he was a little man. He likes to drink expensive wines while dressed like a bum. It’s not just that he wears T-Shirts and jeans everywhere, it’s that he wears raggedy clothes. He will wear the same pair of jeans until they fall apart in the washing machine. According to Kiddo, well-worn clothes are comfortable. How I long for my little man that loved to dress up.
At least I have my gourmet buddy back. And one of his favorite things to eat is Calamari.
Spicy Calamari Linguine
2 Shallots, finely chopped
3 large Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Dried Rosemary
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 cup Olive Oil
3/4 cup Tomato Paste
Kosher Salt to taste
1/2 cup Dry Red Wine
1 cup bottled Clam Juice
1 lb Small Squid (Calamari)
1 lb Linguine
2 tablespoons Italian Parsley
Peel and finely mince the shallots. Set aside. Peel and finely mince the garlic. Set aside.
Crush the rosemary with the red pepper flakes. Set aside.
If not already done at the market, clean the squid. Cut into rings and tentacles. Keep cold until ready to cook. (You can find calamari ready to cook in the freezer of a well-stocked market or buy your own small squid).
In a fry pan large enough to accommodate the pasta later, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, garlic, rosemary and red pepper flakes and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the shallots and garlic are softened but not colored, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir for about 2 minutes. Add the salt and the wine. Simmer until most of the wine has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the clam juice and continue to simmer until thickened and aromatic, about 20 minutes.
Add the squid and cook gently until tender, no more than 5 minutes. If the sauce becomes thin after cooking the squid, remove the squid with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Cook the sauce over gentle heat until it once again thickens, then return the squid to the pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
In a large pot, bring salted water to a rapid boil. Check the package directions for the cooking time, and cook pasta about 1 minute shy of done.
While the pasta cooks, finely mince the parsley for the garnish. Set aside.
Drain the pasta, add to the sauce in the pan and place the pan over low heat. Add the parsley and toss the pasta and sauce together for about 1 minute. Some of the sauce will be absorbed by the pasta, but plenty will remain, keeping the pasta moist.
Transfer to a warmed large, shallow serving bowl or individual shallow bowls and serve immediately.
This is great with a nice salad, some warmed bread and a bottle of wine for an extra-special supper.