Dive into the Rings of Italian Delight

Calamarata pasta takes you on a journey to the sun-drenched shores of Southern Italy, where the aroma of fresh seafood mingles with the salty air and laughter spills from trattorias. It's more than just a shape; it's a culinary canvas brimming with stories, traditions, and flavors that dance on your palate.

Calamarata, as the name suggests, is inspired by the humble squid ("calamari" in Italian). Its thick, ring-shaped form mimics the sliced body of the cephalopod, a playful wink to the bounty of the sea. This pasta hails from the Campania region, particularly Naples, where resourceful cooks transformed simple ingredients into culinary masterpieces.

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Legend has it that calamarata was born in the bustling fish markets of Naples. Fishermen, with their daily catch in hand, used leftover pasta dough and bits of squid to create this unique dish. As it gained popularity, calamarata evolved into a symbol of coastal Italian cuisine, gracing tables at family gatherings and celebrations.

Unlike its hand-crafted cousins, calamarata is an extruded pasta, made with durum wheat semolina flour and water. This gives it a smooth texture and a slightly al dente bite that perfectly complements the rich sauces it embraces. You can find it in specialty stores or online, often alongside its smaller sibling, calamaretti.

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Here is a recipe for Calamarata with Fisherman's Sauce

For the seafood sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound squid, cleaned and sliced into rings
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound calamarata pasta
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  2. Stir in the squid and cook until lightly browned.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes, white wine, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the calamarata according to package instructions.
  5. Drain the pasta and toss it with the seafood sauce.
  6. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

  • Feel free to customize your seafood sauce! Add shellfish like mussels or prawns, or include chopped vegetables like zucchini or tomatoes.
  • Don't overcook the calamarata – it should be al dente for the perfect bite.
  • Get creative with your presentation! Serve the calamarata in individual bowls, topped with a generous scoop of sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

So, there you have it! Calamarata is more than just a pasta; it's a portal to the vibrant, sun-kissed shores of Italy. With its playful shape, rich seafood flavors, and endless culinary possibilities, this pasta is sure to become a new favorite in your kitchen. Buon appetito!