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Calamari with Tomatoes, Caper Berries, and Basil

This slightly spicy sauce is referred to as all'acqua pazza in Italian, which means "crazy water."

  • servings: 6

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling (optional)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced, plus 1 whole garlic clove
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled plum tomatoes with juice, crushed
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small dried red chile, such as chile de ├írbol crumbled
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 strips (each 3 inches) orange zest
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds small calamari (bodies and tentacles), rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 cup large caper berries
  • 6 slices rustic bread, such as pugliese or ciabatta

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and shallots, and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice, wine, water, chile, basil, orange zest, and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer gently until slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, using a kitchen mallet, pound both sides of calamari bodies a few times to tenderize, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch rings. (Leave tentacles whole, or halve if large.)

  3. Step 3

    Add calamari and caper berries to sauce. Cook until calamari are opaque, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

  4. Step 4

    Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in another skillet. Rub bread with garlic clove. Add clove to oil, and cook 2 minutes. Add bread, and fry, flipping once, until golden and crisp, about 1 1/2 minutes total. Put 1 slice of bread into each serving bowl, and top with calamari and sauce. Season with pepper. Drizzle with oil if desired, and garnish with basil.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, July 2007

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