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Squids with…”la testa nel sacco”

(Calamari con…”la testa nel sacco”)

  • 8 squids quite big
  • a very fine chopped mixture composed by:
    heads and tentacles of the squids
    2 garlic cloves
    a small bunch of parsley
    3 entire eggs
    50 grams of Parmesan squids
    2 spoons of breadcrumbs
    2 crumbled hot chilli peppers
    salt and pepper
    ½ kg of tomato purée
    6 spoons of olive oil
    salt and pepper
Take a small bowl, put and mix very well with a fork the chopped mixture, the eggs, the Parmesan cheese, the hot chilli peppers, adjusting salt and pepper only after a taste. Fill the sacs of the squids (but not too much because the egg could break them, when it swells during the cooking), then sew the opening or close it with a tooth pick in order the filling mixture would not come out during the cooking. Keep the remaining filling mixture to use afterwards. Take a blender and put the tomato purée and the oil and mix them very well, then pour them in a large baking tin, in order to hold all the filled squids which should lay on the tin. Let boil and cook slowly for 7/8 minutes, then lay the squids, increase the heat a little bit, scald them on one side (they have to be half-immersed in the sauce) and on the other side for ¾ minutes, then add the remaining filling mixture, previously kept, spreading it uniformly together with the sauce in the tin. Turn a little bit, adjust for a low heat, cover with a lid, cook 15 minutes more and serve with spinach boiled in the abundant sauce.
This is a recipe coming from the coast of Livorno which is welcomed, especially in Firenze, in an enthusiastic manner both for its marked taste and because this is “fish” (everything coming from the sae is commonly called “fish”) without fishbone. The characteristic is particularly appreciated in towns or villages far from the sea, where the food culture is typically “country” and the fishbone is considered very troublesome.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni


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