Squid Casseruola and dreams of Italy
What do you dream about? Since we returned from Italy a little over a year ago it has remained firmly in my sub conscience and dreams as the thing that I most yearn to do again. A return trip is not imminent as I was fortunate enough to win the trip. It was a trip of a lifetime, that is the only way I can express how wonderful it was. Upon arrival in Rome, and then progressively, until the end of our trip I became completely and utterly besotted with Italian cuisine, the people, the landscape, the architecture, the clothing, the shopping, the language and the lifestyle – everything Italy! Since our return I have come up with all sorts of schemes to get us back there, including:
- Buying and renovating an Italian mountain village (yes I did research this and try to work out the feasibility of it!)
- Taking the kids on an international life adventure
- Trying to think of a brand who would like to sponsor me to return there to share our adventures and experiences
Realistically I think that we just need to keep on putting away our hard earned savings and work towards our dream to return some day. Reality really does suck sometimes!!
In the meantime, food is a great way to relive memories and wonderful experiences – so please indulge me. This is one of the recipes that I learnt to cook at La Cucina del Gusto on the Amalfi Coast, Italy last year. It is a simple recipe with classic Italian flavors. Simple but fabulous.
I make this recipe about once a month. It is outlined below pretty much as it was taught to us by Chef Carmen. You can find it here if you would like to take a look at the school, or just day dream about a wonderful food adventure on the Amalfi Coast. ….
The main tip that Chef Carmen taught us about this dish – besides the practical skills to clean a squid – was to use a very wide based pan (as wide as possible to prevent the squid from stewing and becoming tough). The heat should medium/high. The cooking time is a little longer than I would have anticipated but it works.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red chilli - finely chopped (de-seeded if desired)
- 4 garlic cloves - finely chopped
- ¼ cup white wine (dry)
- 2 cleaned squid tubes - sliced into thin rings
- 250 grams cherry tomatoes, or tinned tomatoes
- dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- fresh parsley
- rice to serve
- Add the oil, chilli and garlic to a wide based pan over a medium hot heat
- When fragrant, add the white wine and allow to evaporate by about half
- Add the squid and the tomatoes and mash them a little
- Add a pinch of dried oregano and salt and pepper
- Cook for about 10 minutes
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve on a bed of rice, or with pasta or bruschetta
Quick, simple fresh flavors of Italy made in a jiffy at the end of a busy day. Can you think of anything better? Beside being back there eating it and learning some more recipes from the wonderful Chef Carmen…..I think not.
Do you dream to return or to travel to an international location? Where is it and why?