Recipe courtesy of Nina Groppo

Baked Stuffed Squid: Calamari Ripieni al Forno

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 2 hr
  • Yield: 6 to 12 servings
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Ingredients

Sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large onion, sliced thinly (preferably sweet white Vidalia onion)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup Italian or kalamata olives (preferably pitted)

1 teaspoon capers, optional

One 24-ounce can peeled crushed/ground tomatoes (recommended: Kitchen Ready)

5 or 6 basil leaves, torn

Stuffing:

3 eggs

3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs, plus extra for sprinkling

1 tablespoon raisins, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon pine nuts, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup chopped squid tentacles

1 tablespoon caciocavallo cheese or Pecorino Romano, chopped into small cubes

12 cleaned fresh or frozen medium squid

To assemble:

Grated Romano

Dry seasoned bread crumbs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. To make the sauce: Pour the oil into a medium size saucepan, add the onion, a pinch of salt and pepper and saute at medium to medium-high heat until the onion becomes golden and tender and you can see through it. Add the pine nuts, the raisins and the olives, (for a tangy taste, add the capers). Saute for about 3 more minutes). Add the can of tomatoes (add about 1/2 can of water to thin the sauce for cooking) and cook at medium heat for about at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Lastly, add the basil leaves for a more fresh and tasty flavor. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  3. To make the stuffing: in a medium bowl, beat the eggs and gradually add the bread crumbs, raisins, pine nuts, tentacles and cheese. Mix to a soft consistency. Stuff squid loosely with the mixture and secure opening with a small skewer or toothpick. Place a single layer of squid in a medium baking dish (9 by 13-inches). Top with the sauce. Sprinkle a little grated romano, some dry seasoned bread crumbs, a pinch of salt and pepper over the sauce, then drizzle with some olive oil. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes or until tender.

Cook’s Note

This dish can be served as a meal or as an appetizer. The caciocavallo cheese can be found in Italian specialty stores and the sauce can be prepared ahead of time.

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