Recipe for Calamari Pasta Salad
1-2-3 pounds whole squid, cleaned
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 fennel bulb and tops
1 # ziti pasta, cooked and drained
4 T Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
2 cloves of fresh garlic, smashed and chopped finely
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 T dry red chili pepper flakes
1 T dried oregano flakes
salt and pepper
In boiling water, cook 1 pound of ziti-style pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside. Using a mandoline, slice part of the fennel bulb into thin slices. Chopped fennel tops into large pieces for use as garnish. Chop red bell pepper and parsley and place in a bowel. Add cooled pasta.
Blanch fresh green beans until slightly crunchy, then cool in iced water. Drain and add to pasta mixture.
Clean the squid carefully, slice off the tentacles just ahead of the eyes. Make sure to remove the beak parts found in the center of the tentacles. Slice the mantle or body of the squid into 1 to 2 inch slices. In a pan of hot oil drop batches of the squid. Allow to fry about 45 seconds to one minute. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt.
When cooled, add cooked squid to the pasta vegetable mixture.
In a small bowel mix 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup red wine vinegar. Add oregano, pepper flakes, garlic and salt and pepper. Whisk until well blended. Pour over squid mixture and toss thoroughly. Refrigerate for a couple of hours and then mix again before plating up.
Place a heaping serving of the salad on plate and garnish with fennel top pieces.