2-Minute Calamari, Sicilian Lifeguard-Style

TOTAL TIME: 40 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 20 min
YIELD: 4 cups
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 white wine
  • 2 cups basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 1/2 pounds cleaned calamari, tubes cut into 1/4-inch rounds, tentacles halved
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced, reserve some for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper
BASIC TOMATO SAUCE:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
  • Salt
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Directions

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Set up an ice bath nearby. Cook the couscous in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and immediately plunge it into the ice bath. Once cooled, remove and set aside to dry on a plate.

Ina 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the oil until just smoking. Add the pine nuts, garlic, currants, caperberries and red pepper flakes, and saute until the pine nuts are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the couscous and bring to a boil. Add the calamari, stir to mix, and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes, or until the calamari is just cooked and completely opaque. Toss in the scallions. Season with salt and pepper, pour into a large warm bowl, sprinkle with the reserved scallions, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

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