Italian Christmas eve favorite - use your favorite spaghetti or tomato sauce as the base. This recipe can be doubled or tripled easily. Serve as a side, appetizer, or over pasta. Buon Natale!
INGREDIENTS (for 6 servings):
- 2 pounds calamari, cleaned
- 4 cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup Chianti wine
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
Separate the tentacles from the long body of the calamari, if not done already. Slice the body, or calamari tubes into rings about 1/2 to 2/3 inch thick, set aside.
In a saucepan, combine tomato sauce, red wine, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, basil, and cheese. Simmer on medium low for about 30 minutes to give the alcohol in the wine time to evaporate, and all the flavors time to blend.
Add the calamari to the sauce. Continue to slowly simmer for about another 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Calamari is done when it is plump and more opaque. Do not cook on higher heat or for a longer period, as calamari is famous for becoming rubbery.