Article and recipe by Monica Bergomi (@lalunasulcucchiaio)
A fish-based first course, an unusual pasta with calamari that combines the sweetness of potato cream with the sapidity of molluscs; delicate and gratifying, it is almost a one-course meal.
A clearly simple dish that uses the quality of the single ingredients to the fullest, starting from the type of pasta. The ritual of eating pasta is rooted in our culture, it is no coincidence that we are the greatest consumers of pasta in the world, of any shape and dressing, it is always a joy to serve it at the table. For my pasta with calamari and potato cream I chose bronze-drawn Sgambaro Mille Righe which, like small cannoli, are perfect for capturing the dressing and delighting each mouthful. Only Marco Aurelio Italian wheat, as with spaghettone and orecchiette which I used in other recipes. Selected through 15 years of research, it is an important durum wheat that has been among the best Italian wheats for years. Slowly processed durum wheat pasta with gentle bronze-drawing and long drying at low temperatures: that is why its organoleptic, sensory properties remain intact. Our Sgambaro Yellow Label line is currently one of the pastas with the lowest environmental impact in Italy: the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air during its whole production cycle is truly modest. In fact, for three generations the Sgambaro family has been working with consistency, love and intelligence towards the ambitious objective of becoming a climate positive company by 2030 (if you wish to learn more read here).
Ingredients (serves 4)
400 g of small calamari
2 medium potatoes
1 clove of garlic
Salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil
Wash the calamari and proceed with cleaning by gripping the sac with one hand and the head with the other, pull and separate the two parts. Remove the transparent strip of cartilage contained in the sac and remove the innards rinsing well under running water. Remove the skin and the side fins and cut into rings. Taking the calamari heads, separate them from the tentacles, making a cut under the eyes, also removing the central beak.
Peel and dice the potatoes, transfer them to a non-stick pan with a drizzle of oil and let them heat up. Add hot water until they are just covered, add salt and let them cook for 6/8 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend it all to a cream and keep it warm.
In the same pan warm a spoonful of oil and a clove of garlic, add the calamari and cook over a high flame for 3/4 minutes, long enough for the flesh to turn from transparent to white. This will make them stay firm, yet extremely soft.
At the same time cook the Mezze Righe in plenty of slightly salted water. Strain the pasta when it is al dente and place it in the pan with the cooking base from the calamari, along with the potato cream and the calamari. Sauté everything over a low flame, until the sauce turns creamy. Dress generously with ground pepper, divide the pasta onto the single plates and top with finely chopped chives.
Enjoy your meal!
Monica Bergomi (aka @lalunasulcucchiaio)