Do you ever invite someone for lunch or dinner, wanting to present something good and original at the table, but realize that you do not have much time to cook?
In these cases you can take advantage of the fast cooking time of the fish and prepare a complete main course without spending hours in the kitchen, this calamarata with cuttlefish and cream of potatoes and spinach is a perfect example.
Some tricks before directions
To prepare this course you can use both fresh and frozen cuttlefish, if you buy them frozen, usually they are already cleaned so you just need to let them thaw slowly in the fridge and then rinse them under flowing cold water before to cook.
If you buy them fresh you can ask your trusted fishmonger to clean them for you, otherwise proceed like this: first of all be careful, because inside the cuttlefish there is a bag of ink (the cuttlefish ink) and if you crush it you could get dirty.
Using the tip of a sharp knife, take off eyes and the beak at the center of the tentacles.
Separate the tentacles from the head by making a sharp cut at the point where they join.
Make an incision along the head, then remove the bone and innards, remove also the thin skin by lifting a flap and pulling it gently.
Rinse quickly your cleaned cuttlefish under cold water and go on with preparation.
Regarding cooking time, it depends on the size of your molluscs, but in any case the cooking process must be quick (for a few minutes), otherwise they could become rubbery.
Calamarata with cuttlefish and cream of potatoes and spinach recipe
Calories: 418 kcal
- 500 gr of little cuttlefish (weight already cleaned)
- 320 gr of calamarata pasta
- 30 ml of white wine
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of chopped shallots
- Chopped parsley as required
- Pepper as required
- 150 gr of fresh spinach
- Half medium potato boiled (about 75 gr)
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For the cream of potato and spinach
Rinse your spinach, dip it for a few seconds in boiling salted water and then transfer it immediately in cold water with ice.
Remove the tentacles of the cuttlefish and keep aside, cut the heads into strips about 1-1,5 cm wide and then cut them into squares.
In a large pan, brown the shallot gently with 4 tablespoons of oil, then add the tentacles and cook over high heat for about two minutes, then add the pieces of cuttlefish and cook for another minute.
After this time, pour your white wine and, always keeping the flame high, wait about a minute for the alcohol to evaporate.
Turn off the heat and add pepper to taste (salt should not be necessary).
Put the boiled potato in the glass of a hand blender and blend together with the previously squeezed spinach, the oil and a few tablespoons of cuttlefish sauce in order to obtain a cream with a soft consistency (if necessary, add a little water).
Taste the potato and spinach cream and salt as required, then transfer it in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Cook your pasta in plenty of salted water, drain it just firm (“al dente”) while keeping aside a little cooking water.
Quickly stir-fry in the pan your calamarata pasta with the cuttlefish keeping aside some tentacles; if necessary, to moisten, add a little cooking water of your pasta.
Meanwhile, heat the spinach cream in the microwave.
Form some mirrors with the spinach cream on the bottom of the dishes and put your pasta over it.
Serve your calamarata pasta with cuttlefish and cream of potato and spinach decorating the dishes with the tentacles kept aside and fresh parsley leaves.