Mario adds his take to a quick and delicious calamari dish!
SPICY SICILIAN CALAMARI
1 cup Israeli couscous
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 jalapenos (minced)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons currants
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup caperberries
2 cups basic tomato sauce ()
1 1/2 pounds calamari (cleaned, tubes cut into 1/4-inch rounds, tentacles halved)
3 scallions (thinly sliced)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and season with salt.
Set up an ice bath nearby.
Cook the couscous in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and immediately plunge into the ice bath. Once cooled, remove and set aside to dry on a plate.
In a 12-to 14-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil until just smoking. Add the jalapenos and cook for 30 seconds. Deglaze with the water. Add the pine nuts, currants, and red pepper flakes and sauté until the nuts are just golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the caperberries, half of the tomato sauce, and couscous and bring to a boil. Add the calamari, stir to mix, add the remaining tomato sauce and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the calamari is just cooked and completely opaque. Season with salt and pepper, pour into a large warm bowl, sprinkle with scallions, and serve immediately.
Tip: Cook the couscous in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.