The other day I bought my very first Staub cocotte because it’s time for me to get serious in the kitchen 🙂 ! I’m up for some slow cooking and some savoury marinated dishes and there’s nothing better than a cast iron cocotte to do so. Since Italy is one of my favorite countries in the world and I adore their cuisine, my first recipe in this cocotte will be a one-pot pasta dish !
Something full of veggies and fresh herbs and of course an amazing Italian tomato sauce that I bought at “La Grande Epicerie”. What’s great in pasta dishes is that you can totally play it by ear, you can throw just about anything in there and make it to your taste. Roasted pine nuts, cheese for topping, fresh herbs – whatever floats your boat ! Today I felt like adding some calamari for a seaside touch to my dish.
Calamari is not only good fried but tastes great in saucy dishes too. You need to be careful not to overcook it or it will be hard and chewy and nobody wants that.
As my mama would say, there are two ways to cook calamari: the first is to slow cook it in a sauce so it becomes tender, and the other is to add it at the very last minute when everything else is nearly ready. Be gentle with your calamari, it’s a sensitive fish. 😉
For this one-pot recipe, you can just throw everything in all at once and wait for it to cook, or you can pre-cook (in the same pot) your veggies and garlic with some olive oil beforehand and set them aside to be added to your pot at the end. In my recipe, I added eggplant and mushrooms which are vegetables that get mushy once cooked and have soaked in water. I prefer precooking them with olive oil and garlic first so they will be seasoned and slightly grilled. Just a small tip for a better outcome 😉
For the liquids, 2 cups of water can suffice, but for a tastier dish try 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of white wine and 1/2 of bouillon water.
Serve this pasta with some garlic bread or why not focaccia on the side and enjoy !
INGREDIENTS : (serves 4)
• 12 ounces dry orecchiette
• 1/2 small eggplant, cubed
• 2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
• 2 medium sized calamari, with tentacles
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1.5 cups tomato sauce
• 1 cup water
• 1/2 cup of white wine
• 1/2 cup of bouillon
• Salt & Pepper
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• Fresh parsley or basil for finishing
1. Dice eggplant and mushrooms into small, bite-sized cubes.
2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2-3 Tbsp olive oil, the eggplant and 1 clove of minced garlic. Sprinkle with salt and stir. Sautee for 3-5 minutes or until a golden brown color is achieved, then add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes more or until all of the veggies have color. Set aside and cover.
3. To the same saucepan, add the pasta, water, tomato sauce, wine and bouillon and the remaining cloves of garlic. Add salt and pepper.
4. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer until the pasta is starting to cook. (mix regularly your pasta so they don’t stick together)
5. 5 minutes before your pasta is cooked al dente, add the calamari and the roasted vegetables.
6. Once cooked, adjust seasoning with fresh herbs, salt and pepper according to taste.