Be it Spaghetti con le Cozze, Spaghetti alle Vongole or Spaghetti con i Calamari, most of these dishes start with the same basic sauce: aglio e olio, garlic and oil; and freshly chopped parsley is almost always sprinkled on top.
Yet, each dish yields its own particular result. Add or omit tomatoes or peperoncino; vary the type of seafood, pasta, or tomatoes; or, as in the case Pasta Calamarata Napoletana, layer in several types of seafood to create a richer dish.
In this primo piatto of mouthwatering proportions, the seafood gives name to the pasta and the pasta gives name to the dish.
This curious form (of pasta) takes its name from rings of calamari, which resemble its shape; the optimal condiment is definitely a fish based sauce: a stew of calamari or a sauce rich in seafood. De Cecco, Calamarata – 129
Decidedly Neapolitan, while the base of the dish, as the name says, must be calamari – the rings and calamarata – the pasta, one could add whatever one likes, and it would still be Pasta Calamarata Napoletana – più o meno!
The seafood – start with calamari and add what you like. Giuseppe used about 300 grams each of calamari rings, clams and shrimp.
500 grams cherry tomatoes. In Naples, pomodorini datterini are typically used. Indigenous to southern Italy, they are small, sweet tomatoes shaped like dates. Grape tomatoes may be a good substitute.
3 cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
500 grams Pasta Calamarata
If calamari is whole, cut it into rings
Peel shrimp, if desired (Giuseppe makes his with unpeeled shrimp, heads removed)
Wash and halve the tomatoes
Chop a large bunch of parsley
Heat oil in a large, deep sauté pan
Add 2 of the garlic cloves, chopped and 2 of the peperoncino, crushed
Sauté a few minutes and then add the tomatoes and sauté a few minutes more
Add the calamari rings and parsley, reserving some of the parsley for garnish
Salt to taste
Cook on low heat about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
Meanwhile, bring the pasta water to a boil and in a small pot, heat oil, one clove chopped garlic 1 crushed peperoncino, and a generous dash of white wine
Add the clams, cover and cook until they are all open
Remove from heat and set aside
Add the shrimp to the sauce and continue cooking until the shrimp are done
Add in the clams and about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid to the sauce and stir through
Turn off the heat on the sauce until the pasta is done
Cook the pasta 1 or 2 minutes less than al dente and drain, reserving about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid
Turn the heat on the sauce to medium-low and add the pasta liquid to the sauce and stir through
Add the pasta
Stir well and cook about 3 to 5 minutes until the pasta and the sauce are completely combined
Remove to serving platter and top with chopped parsley