Penne with Calamari, Tomato and Olives

I have to admit to being a little intimidated by calamari. I’ve had too many squid dishes where the meat was rubbery and chewy. I did not want my dish to end up like that.

The trick is to watch the coloring of the tentacles of the calamari. It’s pretty straight forward…as soon as the meat of the tentacles turn white, take them off the heat. The heat of the pan and other items in the dish will finish cooking the calamari for you. Have faith, everything will be okay.

Timing is everything on this dish, keep an eye open and don’t walk too far away from the stove top.

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 fillets of anchovies
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 lb calamari, cleaned, tubes sliced into 1/8″ rings, tentacles whole
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook the penne pasta as per directions on the box. But a few minutes before the water comes to a boil, heat a In a 12- to 14-inch skillet over medium heat, and add the olive oil. As soon as you put the pasta into the boiling water, start cooking the onions, garlic and anchovies.

Cook the onions in the skillet for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, olives and 2 tablespoons of the cream. Cook for 2 minutes, and then raise the heat under the skillet to high. Add the calamari. Use your judgement on adding a spoonful of pasta water in order to prevent the sauce from drying out.

The calamari will cook fast…real fast. Cook for two minutes…check the color and texture of the tentacles. When the become white and firm, immediately remove from heat.

At this time, your pasta should be done. Drain. Add to the skillet and fold into the sauce.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4


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