These stuffed calamari are another traditional Sunday classic. The tubes are filled with a mixture of egg and breadcrumbs, secured with a toothpick and simmered in tomato sauce. You can enjoy this dish like they would in Italy, following a simple plate of pasta topped with the sauce you prepared for the calamari, or enjoy it like we do here in America – serving the pasta and calamari together.
Sundays growing up were always a to-do – we always ate pasta con la salsa – pasta with sauce and we always ate in the early afternoon, just as my parents had when they lived in Italy. Sundays were a day for family and we were not allowed to see friends and had to plan ahead to have our homework finished, because the day would be full. There was church, Sunday school, the meal (which was four courses, at a minimum), then visits to “i nonni”, my grandmothers, where we would see aunts, uncles and cousins. We’d eat there too – Stella D’oro cookies, Torrone, or Spumoni . There would be un bicchiere di qualcosa, an alcoholic drink for the grown ups and 7-Up for the kids. We’d fall asleep on the car ride home and have a late snack when we arrived before we were off to bed.
My mom prepared this dish every once in a while on Sundays, a change from the traditional Ragu | Italian Meat Sauce, and I always loved it. I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it!
Bucatini con Calamari Ripieni | Stuffed Calamari and Bucatini
- 1 32 oz jar of Passata, or 1 28 oz can tomato puree with no salt or other seasoning added
- 14-16 oz water
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4-6 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
- Red Pepper flakes to taste
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 lb fresh calamari, tubes and tentacles, cleaned and patted dry
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb buccatini pasta
- Flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped, for garnish
For the Sauce:
For the calamari:
- Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Add a generous amount of salt, and set over a medium-low flame while you prepare the calamari and sauce.
- In a small bowl, combine eggs and seasoned breadcrumbs, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix to form a paste. Hold a calamari tube in your hand, as you would a glass, and spoon a small amount of mixture into the tube. Push the mixture down with the opposite hand – it should be no more than 1/3 of the way full – this mixture will expand quickly when cooked. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining calamari and set aside.
- Set a saucepan over medium-high heat and heat for 1-2 minutes. Add extra virgin olive oil and heat, about 1 minute. The oil is ready when it thins and swirls easily around the pot. Add red pepper flakes and sliced garlic and cook until starting to brown and fragrant – about 1 minute. Add the calamari tentacles and sear until opaque – 1-2 minutes.
- Add your passata or tomato puree, then rinse out the jar or can by filling it halfway with tap water. Add the water to the sauce and stir to combine.
- To the sauce, add all the seasonings – salt, oregano, parsley, and basil. Stir to combine. Allow sauce to come to a vigorous boil.
- Once the sauce is boiling, turn the heat down low and add the stuffed calamari. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, the pasta water should be boiling. Add the bucatini to the water and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Just before draining the pasta, reserve about 1 cup pasta water.
- Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Reduce flame to low, add pasta water and about 2 cups of the pasta sauce. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes more, until sauce has absorbed into the pasta. Remove from heat, plate and top with additional sauce and stuffed calamari. Garnish with fresh parsley.