Don't be put off cooking with calamari for fear of it being rubbery – the trick to tender calamari is either cooking it very quickly or for a long time. Calamari is ideal if you can only get to a seafood supplier occasionally because it freezes really well and is actually tenderised by freezing.
- L/D Lunch/Dinner
- DF Dairy free
- GF Gluten free
- HH Heart-healthy
- Prep time 30 mins
- Cook Time 80 mins
- Serves 4-6
- Difficulty medium
To prepare calamari
- Clean the calamari or, if frozen, defrost according to packet directions.
- Dry the calamari with paper towel and place in a ceramic dish.
- Add about 2 dessertspoons of olive oil, wine, salt and pepper and marinate while preparing the sauce (or overnight in fridge).
To prepare sauce
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Heat a saucepan; add olive oil, sauté onion and garlic on low to medium heat for a few minutes until softened.
- Add tinned tomatoes and stir.
- Add herbs and tomato paste and then season if required.
- Put lid on saucepan and simmer on low heat for at least 20 minutes. (Sauce can be kept in the fridge overnight.)
To assemble the dish
- Ladle some of the sauce into an ovenproof casserole dish to cover the base.
- Put all of the calamari, including the marinade into the dish and cover completely with the tomato sauce (to prevent burning).
- Bake uncovered in oven for 1 hour.
- Serve with a green leafy salad with some fennel, and crusty wholegrain bread to mop up the tasty sauce or with oven-baked potato wedges.
By Jean Hailes naturopath and herbalist Sandra Villella
Calamari is a good source of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, especially Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is essential for brain development and function.
Eating fish 2-3 times a week can slow age-related decline and protect against the risk of senile dementia.