Pasta with tomato sauce became soul food for us after I discovered the Italian Marinara Sauce, the classic one or the recipe adapted by me. If you want it a bit more hearty, like the seafood pasta, but you don't have a great variety of mollusks nor the budget, I propose the most handy, cheap, filling and very tasty option. That is, use squid. I usually keep 1-2 bags of squid rings in the freezer and, mostly, use them combined with pasta. You're probably wondering why I use frozen squid - I've tried fresh too, but I probably don't have the necessary skills yet to cook it in such a way that it's not hard and rubbery - I'd be grateful if you had little secrets for boiling the raw squid.
I discovered that frozen squid rings are already pre-cooked, so they are easy to prepare, they have a good texture and are always handy in the freezer.
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Here are the squid rings that I normally use in recipes.
I keep in the freezer and thaw a few hours before cooking the dish.
Thaw, then wash well 2-3 times.
Place in a sieve to drain. I check each one and make sure they don't have any hard parts. I recommend not skipping this step, I can't stand feeling hard parts in my food and I'm usually paranoid about this :)
You can leave the rings whole or cut into halves, quarters etc.
When the calamari strips are ready, we can actually start the cooking.
In a frying pan, heat the olive oil (and the butter, optional) and add the finely chopped onion and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes, very careful not to brown them too much or burn.
Add the squid and stir thoroughly.
Let cook properly, for 8-10 minutes, over medium heat, stirring periodically.
Now add the mashed tomatoes or the semi-prepared sauce. I usually have stocks in the freezer or homemade canned tomato sauce.
You can find all the details here:
Classic Marinara pasta and pizza sauce recipe
My pasta sauce recipe
Stir properly and simmer for another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and set aside.
Now boil your favorite pasta according to the instructions on the package.
Drain the pasta and toss it, hot like this, in the pan with tomato sauce and squid.
Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.
I recommend not skipping the grated Parmesan when serving. It's the one that gives the final touch for a complete taste.
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