Calamari Recipe: Penne and Calamari with Tomato and Basil

calamari and penne, calamari recipe

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On one of my last shopping trips I picked up some calamari. We both love it and again, living here in beef country it’s hard to come by seafood. I don’t have it very often but when I do I tend towards Italian type preparations like Calamari with Quick Tomato Sauce on Rice. I enjoy a calamari recipe that is flavorful and easy to make.

The one pound package I bought was enough to feed us for this meal and I kept enough aside to make stuffed calamari which was something I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I realize that not everyone likes squid but it really is very mild in taste and as long as you don’t overcook it, it is not at all rubbery.

I pulled out 8 of the cleaned tubes to save for my stuffed calamari recipe and used the rest for this meal. It was about half a pound for each dinner.

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calamari recipe

Penne and Calamari with Tomato and Basil

2 Servings

1/2 lb calamari tubes cut into slices
3 cups cooked penne
1 cup dried tomatoes, rehydrated with the water saved
3 – 4 cloves garlic minced
1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS fresh basil, ripped into pieces
1 TBS vodka, optional
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese to grate over the top

How to cook penne and calamari with tomato and basil

1. Heat the olive oil over med-high heat in the bottom of a heavy saute pan (I was using the pot I had cooked the penne in). Add the garlic and let it cook until the fragrance releases.
2. Add the rehydrated tomatoes and some of the reserved tomato water and let them cook until a sauce begins to form.
3. Add the basil and more tomato water as needed. If you are adding the vodka do so now. Adjust seasonings for salt and pepper.
4. Lower the heat to medium and add in the calamari and cook gently.

penne and calamari with tomatoes and basil in pot

Just as the calamari is turning opaque add in the penne and stir gently until the calamari is evenly mixed with the pasta. Turn off the heat and let it sit, covered for about 5 minutes.

Plated Penne and Calamari with Tomatoes and Basil

To serve place the finished pasta on the plate and grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over top. I had some roasted green beans for the vegetable that night.

How Was the Calamari Recipe?

We both loved this dish – the dried tomatoes always rehydrate with so much flavor. Basil is one of my favorite herbs. I gave him all the tentacle for as much as I adore calamari I don’t like them.  Any time I use my dehydrated tomatoes I find that they bring a ton of tomato flavor to a dish.


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