Squid or Cuttlefish Baked with Pasta

Kalamarakia or Soupies me Makaronaki

A traditional Lenten dish, this squid or cuttlefish entree is usually cooked during Holy Week, but also during the week before the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary on August 15.

Unlike the Italians, Greeks hardly ever use squid or cuttlefish ink in cooking.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds medium squid or cuttlefish
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • cups chopped onions
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups dry red or white wine
  • 4 cups tomato puree, fresh or good-quality canned
  • 1-2 fresh chili peppers, minced, or ⅓-½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 4 cups fish or chicken stock
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound ditali or elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup chopped fresh dill

Method

To clean the squid or cuttlefish, pull to separate the body from the tentacles and head. The ink sac and the intestines will come out; cut off and discard them. Turn down the tentacles to uncover the mouth in the center. Cut it off and discard it. Take out the soft bone from the squid’s pouch or the cuttlebone from the cuttlefish. Wash the pouch thoroughly, turning inside out.

Cut the pouch in ½/- or 1-inch slices or rings, and the tentacles into 2 or 3 pieces each.

In a deep skillet, heat half of the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the squid and garlic, and sauté, turning with a wooden spoon, for 3 to 4 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Pour the wine into the skillet and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of tomato puree, the chili peppers, cinnamon stick if using, and the remaining olive oil and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the squid starts to soften.

Add the rest of the tomato puree together with the stock and some salt and pepper. When the mixture starts to boil, transfer to a deep earthenware pot. Add the pasta and mix well with a wooden spoon. Transfer to oven and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the pasta and squid are tender. Stir 2 or 3 times during the cooking, adding a little more water or tomato puree if needed to keep mixture moist. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed.

Sprinkle with dill and serve immediately.

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