This dish, from the southern Italian region of Calabria, can be made with squid (called totani in the regional dialect), baby octopus, or cuttlefish. Unlike many Italian pasta dishes that use quickly sautéed squid, this version calls for gently braising it in tomato sauce. One difference between this dish and classic French stews is that French stew recipes call for cooking the ingredients in a minimum of fat and skimming off the fat during or after cooking so that little if any ends up in the final sauce. In this stew, a large amount of olive oil is used and the stew is gently cooked, uncovered, until the olive oil separates out. This separated mixture—heresy to a French cook—becomes the sauce.
|squid or baby octopus|
|onion, finely chopped|
|garlic cloves, finely chopped|
|extra-virgin olive oil|
|tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped or drained and chopped canned tomatoes|
|dried spaghetti or other strand pasta|
|chopped basil leaves (chopped at the last minute)|
|salt and pepper||to taste||to taste|
Copyright © 2017 by James Peterson. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.