To clean the calamari, remove the insides by grasping the tube body and pulling the tentacles from the body. Cut off the tentacles of the calamari in one piece and set aside. Discard the insides and head of the calamari. Push the tentacles outwards, removing the beak at the base of the tentacles and discard. Remove the backbone (a thin, clear sliver of cartilage) from the tube of the calamari by holding onto the backbone and pulling it from the calamari tube. Lastly remove the calamari skin by running your fingers underneath the skin, then peeling it off. Remove the skin from the wings, body tube and tentacles and discard skin. Rinse the cavity well and pat dry.
Tip: To save time, ask your local fishmonger to clean the calamari for you.
Use a sharp knife to separate the wings from body of the calamari. Cut the body into 1cm thick rings and the wings into 1cm thick slices. Roughly chop the tentacles.
Place the calamari pieces into a medium sized bowl. Pour over the red wine vinegar and red wine. Cover with plastic wrap (cling film) and allow to marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the celery, carrots, chopped tomatoes and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the bowl with marinated calamari from the fridge. Discard the plastic wrap. Add the calamari and marinating liquid to the frying pan with vegetables. Bring to the boil, then cook, uncovered, for a further 20 minutes or until the calamari are tender. Add the parsley and toss over the heat for 2 minutes to combine.Serve calamari al vino rosso (with red wine) with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the lovely calamari juices – buon appetito.
Serve calamari al vino rosso (with red wine) with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the lovely calamari juices – buon appetito.