Friday, April 8, 2016

Spaghetti e Calamari con Salsa di Pomodoro




     Spaghetti and Squid with Italian Tomato Sauce!
     I was making some tomato sauce for an eggplant recipe blog at a later date.  The sauce was simmering for 4 hours.  The aroma was going straight to my hunger senses.  I couldn't resist making a quick pasta entrée, so I could sample the sauce!
     The mistake most chefs make when cooking a tomato sauce is to not use enough olive oil.  Too little of an amount of olive oil will cause the tomatoes to stew and the sauce will not cling to the pasta.  Italian tomato sauce also has to be stirred often or the oil will separate and the tomatoes will just stew.
     The better the quality of the imported canned Italian tomatoes, the better the sauce will be!  With good tomatoes, no carrot, sugar or baking soda is needed to neutralize the acidity.  Good imported Italian canned tomatoes are "slightly sweet" and not acidic.  Italian canneries wait till the tomatoes are ripe and sweet, before canning the tomatoes.  
     Italian Roma Plum Tomatoes and San Marzano Tomatoes are best for making tomato sauces.  San Marzano Tomatoes are usually mixed with crushed Roma Plum Tomato when making Salsa di Pomodoro.  San Marzano Tomatoes are usually featured alone in a Marinara sauce, because the San Marzano breed of tomato is the very best!
     To make today's pasta, the sauce has to be prepared ahead of time.  Salsa di Pomodoro takes nearly 4 hours to cook.  The spaghetti pasta only takes 8 to 10 minutes to be cooked al dente.  The squid takes only about a minute to cook.  What this all means is that a home cook must have a good sense of timing.  The garlic bread can be before the pasta is started.  The pasta can be started boiling and after waiting a few minutes, the Calamari en Tomato Sauce can quickly be made.  The goal is to finish the squid en tomato sauce at the same time that the pasta is al dente.            
     
     Salsa di Pomodoro:  
     Follow the link to the recipe in this website.
     • Salsa di Pomodoro
     If the sauce is prepared ahead of time, warm about 1 1/2 cups of Salsa di Pomodoro in a sauce pot over very low heat.    

     Garlic Bread:
     This recipe yields 1 portion of garlic bread.  (2 slices)
     Step 1:  Place 3 cloves of minced garlic in a cup.
     Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 1 small pinch of sea salt.
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Step 2:  Cut 2 slices of Italian bread that are about 3/4" thick.  
     Brush the bread slices with the garlic oil mixture.  
     Step 3:  Heat a cast iron griddle over medium/medium low heat.
     Grill the garlic bread till it is toasted golden brown on both sides.
     Keep the garlic bread warm on a stove top.
       
     Spaghetti e Calamari con Salsa di Pomodoro:  
     This recipe yields 1 pasta entrée.
     Squid cook quickly!  Do not overcook the squid, or it will become tough as rubber.
     Step 1:  Start cooking 1 portion of spaghetti in boiling water over high heat.
     *Wait about 3 minutes before starting to cook the squid!
     Step 2:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Add 6 ounces of cleaned squid that is cut into 3/8" wide rings.  (Add the tentacles too!)    
     Briefly sauté the squid for about 20 seconds, till it is almost fully cooked.  
     Step 3:  Add about 1 1/2 cups of the warm Salsa di Pomodoro.  
     Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Step 5:  Check the pasta.  When it is al dente it is ready.  
     Drain the water off of the pasta.  (Be sure that the water is completely drained off of the pasta or the sauce will bleed!) 
     Step 6:  Mound the portion of al dente cooked spaghetti on a plate.  
     Pour the sauce and squid over the pasta.
     Place the garlic bread on the plate.  
     Serve the pasta with finely grated imported Italian Parmigiana Cheese on the side.  
     
     For great Italian food it is the quality of the basic ingredients and good cooking techniques that counts! 

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