You got the whole thing, you lucky dog. There is so much more to this beautiful cephalopod than just calamari. But first you have to clean it! See the video HERE.
There are lots and lots of wonderful squid recipes online, but one of my favorites is braised stuffed squid and you can use some of your anchovies in it too!
Braised Stuffed Squid (adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe, pre-sliced squid photo courtesy of Helen Graves)
Note: squid shrinks when cooking, so do not overstuff them!
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (or chopped walnuts are a great budget alternative)
6-8 whole squid, cleaned and patted dry
1 teaspoon minced garlic
6 anchovy fillets, minced
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons Parmesan
1/3 cup dry white wine (plus one glass for the chef)
½ cup bread crumbs (make your own if you can! Much tastier)
salt and pepper
1 14oz. can drained chopped tomatoes
kalamata olives, pitted
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (pick it from your neighbor’s yard)
Sautee the pine nuts in 1 tsp olive oil for 3 minutes until tan. Put most of them in a bowl, but save a few for garnish.
Chop the squid tentacles nice and fine, add to nuts, minced garlic, half the anchovies, half the parsley, all the parmesan, wine, and a splash of olive oil. Mix together, should be moist.
Add a few bread crumbs to make it hold together, but not too dry. Add some salt and pepper.
Use your hands to stuff the squid with the stuffing you just made, and close each side with a toothpick. Did I mention not to over-stuff them?
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in your pot and add the remaining anchovies, cook for a minute or two to flavor the oil
Place the stuffed squid in the pot and brown for a minute on both sides (they’ll begin to shrink a little so don’t worry too much about crowding the pot)
Pour in the tomatoes, kalamata olives and rosemary, cover with a lid and simmer on low for 15 minutes
Jiggle your squid to make sure it’s not sticking to the pot, shake the sauce around a little, cover again for 15 more minutes
Raise the heat to medium and reduce the sauce for 10 minutes
Remove the squid onto a plate and continue reducing the sauce for 5 more minutes until it is concentrated in its loveliness
Slice your squid diagonally into bites, top with sauce and garnish with reserved pine nuts and parsley. Buon appetito!
Delicious with pasta or polenta. Pass the wine!