This post appeared today on the site of the very talented The Blissful Adventurer. I was very happy to be a guest blogger for Michael while he is traveling through Italy for a few weeks. Check out his site – it is full of wonderful travel stories and great photos.
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I grew up eating calamari quite often. It was (and still is) a favorite dish of mine so my mother prepared it for me whenever I got to choose that we were having for winner. Interestingly, I did not try deep-fried calamari, which seems to be a very popular way to enjoy this treat, until I was an adult. While I really believe that frying can be a wonderful way to prepare some foods (like chicken) I am not a lover of fried seafood because I think that it masks the delicate flavors of the wonderful frutti de mar.
The Italian style of calamari that I grew up eating is a simple dish but it requires a good foundation in the form of homemade marinara sauce. I have made my own tomato sauce since I was a kid and there are only a few basic rules. Unless it is late summer, I recommend high quality canned tomatoes and a lot of brands fit this description. Any Italian tomatoes from San Marzano and even domestic brands like Muir Glen will do. I don’t use tomato paste, but my mother does, so you can decide for yourself if that adds a good flavor and texture. Continue reading