When you visit the coastal towns of Italy, one of my favorite things you experience is the fresh seafood. Their whole lives revolve around the fishing industry and so the heart and soul of their cooking centers around it. Often being poor fishing towns, their meals are incredibly simplistic, with few ingredients, which end up shining through with the brightest Italian flavors.
A perfect meal for a summer night, pour yourself a nice glass of wine and make this fresh, beautiful seafood dish highlighting fresh calamari. I promise you’ll be licking your plate.
- Good quality linguine, enough for two
- 2 lemons, halved and juiced
- 3/4 lb of fresh calamari, tubes and tentacles
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup dry white wine, like Pinot Grigio
- red pepper flakes
First, four hours before you want to cook your meal, marinate the calamari in a plastic bag with the juice of one lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper, 1 garlic clove, and red pepper flakes. Mush it around and let it marinate in the fridge for four hours.
Once you are ready to cook, remove the calamari from the fridge. Boil a pot of water. Once it boils, salt it then well. Italians will say it should taste like the water of the sea.
Meanwhile, in a medium sauté, pan heat it over medium heat. Add olive oil, the remainder of the garlic smashed whole cloves, and halved cherry tomatoes. Sauté this, smashing gently the tomatoes with a wooden spoon until it begins to meld into the garlic and oil. Season with salt and red pepper. Add the white wine, lemon, and a pinch of the parsley. Bring it up to a simmer.
While that is melding, grill the calamari on high heat for about a minute and a half. Remove and reserve in a bowl. Slice the tubes in 1/2 inch pieces and leave the tentacle pieces whole.
Add the linguine to the boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes, a little less than what it says.
Add the calamari to continue cooking in the sauce, adding a bit of the pasta water to the sauce as you go. Then, add the cooked linguine (slightly undercooked from the directions). It’s important to use good quality linguine as it makes allllll the difference. We prefer Gentile brand, which you can find at any good Italian market. Stir gently to combine and add the remaining parsley. Plate and enjoy with a fresh lemon wedge.