So drumroll for one of the most requested recipes on my Instagram…………………. I still can’t believe the hype around this recipe since sharing it in my stories a few weeks ago. Yes it’s absolutely delicious, and yes it is incredibly easy to put together, but wow! I was not expecting that kind of reaction.
It has taken me a while to actually sit down and type it out, but I am so happy to finally share it with you. This is definitely one of those recipes that is so incredibly dummy-proof, but that would wow even the biggest foodie.
“In umido” basically means “stewed” in Italian. By cooking these calamari low and slow, in some liquid, you are ensuring mind-blowing tenderness and deep, deep flavour.
I actually like to keep frozen, whole, clean calamari in my freezer for quick and easy access to a healthy meal. I buy them in bulk (about 4 lbs) from my favourite local fish monger, and I freeze them in pre-portioned vacuum packs. This makes meal planning easy, healthy, and efficient. Plus, I don’t want to have to drive to the fish monger every time I want to cook a “fancy” seafood dish, because most times, I don’t plan significantly ahead of time. This just makes my life a whole lot easier, while also knowing that I am using a top-quality fish.
There are so many ways you can serve this (and I named a few in the recipe notes). But, my go-to is usually to place it on a bed of simple parmigiano risotto, letting the flavours from the sauce do the talking. It also pairs very well with some steamed rapini (broccoli rabe). Just ex-squid-site! Get it?… Okay time for me to log off now.
Calamari in Umido
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 shallots chopped finely
- 5 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 tbsp crushed chili flakes (put less if you don't want it to be too spicy)
- 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley chopped finely (be generous)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 lb calamari (squid) cleaned, cut into rings (option to keep tentacles)
- 1 cup water
- Heat up the olive oil in a heavy-bottom, medium sized pot.
- Once heated, add in the chopped shallots and the smashed garlic – cook over medium-low heat until softened and fragrant.
- Add in the crushed chili flakes and chopped parsley, stirring until coated. Cook until the parsley is wilted (about 2 mins).
- Add in the calamari, tossing to coat in the oil mixture – cook until they become slightly opaque.
- Add in the water, bring to a slight simmer. Lower the heat to low, cover the pot leaving a slight crack between the lid and the pot to allow the water to evaporate slowly.
- Cook, stirring occasionally and being careful not to burn the bottom of the pot (this is why it's important to cook it low and slow – it will also yield very tender calamari). Cook until most of the water has evaporated and the sauce has thickened (roughly 35-40 mins).
- You can serve this over a bed of risotto (I like to make either a plain parmigiano risotto, or a risotto with tomato sauce), or with some pasta aglio e olio, roasted potatoes, brown rice, on a salad, or even on its own.
- I get my calamari from my favourite local fish monger. I buy them frozen cleaned and whole. I pre-portion them in my freezer, defrosting them when needed. I then rinse them, cut them into rounds, always using the tentacles and allowing them to drain on a paper-towel lined dish before cooking.