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Calabrian Spaghetti with Cuttlefish Recipe

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You'll need small tender cuttlefish for this Calabrian pasta dish, which will serve four as a first course, or two as a main course (with a tossed salad).

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 pounds (500 g) small cuttlefish, fresh or frozen (the latter should be thawed)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 6 leaves fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • A dash of crushed red pepper (if you like spice, but go easy)
  • Salt to taste
  • 3/4 pound (320 g) spaghetti

Preparation:

Clean the cuttlefish, wash them well, and dice them. Set the oil to heat in a skillet with the onion and the garlic, and when the onion has turned translucent add the cuttlefish and continue cooking over a brisk flame until they have colored.

Meanwhile, wash and dry the basil leaves. Stir them into the cuttlefish together with the tomato sauce, sugar and pepper, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue cooking for about an hour, adding the wine a few tablespoons at a time each time the oil begins to separate from the tomato sauce.

In the meantime bring lightly salted pasta water to boil, and when the sauce is 10 minutes shy of being done cook the spaghetti; you may want to drain the spaghetti when they're barely short of being done, transfer them still dripping to the skillet, and toss them with the sauce.

The wine? Cirò Bianco from Calabria, or a Rosato del Salento, from Puglia.

Yield: 4 servings Calabrian spaghetti with cuttlefish.

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