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STUFFED CALAMARI IN TOMATO SAUCE :
A recipe from Robert Tinnell's
Feast of the Seven Fishes

After our interview I asked Bob if he would mind sharing a recipe from the book with our readers. Below is the recipe for his family's Stuffed Calamari in Tomato Sauce, found on page 82 of Feast of the Seven Fishes. My thanks to Bob and Shannon for sharing this tasty sounding dish.

Stuffed Calamari in Tomato Sauce
I love this dish. It's almost like a pasta dish – the stuffed calamari look like manicotti.

Ingredients: 2-4 lbs. of calamari (squid), bread crumbs, salt, pepper, fresh grated parmesan and/or romano cheese, eggs, garlic, basil, water, milk, chopped up portions of the various seafood you will be serving (including the squid themselves).

We purchase our calamari frozen. Thaw them under cool water, removing the weird plastic-like pieces that you'll find in the body cavity. Remove the tentacles (they will be used – we boil and marinate some, fry some without breading and others with), leaving only the body cavity.

Prepare the sauce: heat the olive oil, add garlic (but do not burn), add tomato sauce, basil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar if you like. Allow to simmer while preparing the stuffing.

In a large bowl, add two 15 oz. cans of bread crumbs (or four cups of fresh), one head of minced garlic, a cup of water or milk, and an egg. Add as much cheese as you'd like, and copious quantities of the chopped fish and squid. Mix by hand until you get a moist mixture, one that will stick together of its own accord (which means you can add water, milk, whatever until you achieve the consistency of, say, a meatball).

Now it's time to stuff the calamri. We use those disposable aluminum trays from the super market, but you could also use a casserole dish. Cover the bottom with olive oil. Stuff the calamari – tight but not too tight, as the mixture will expand. Lay the stuffed calamari in the tray in rows (feel free to do more than one layer). Drizzle olive oil and cheese over the calamari, then add more basil to the sauce and pour the sauce over the entire thing. Cover with foil and a lid and then put in an oven that has been pre-heated to 450 degrees. Cook for about an hour (more of that exact science stuff). Serves 6-8.

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