Wednesday, December 14

Spicy Bagna Cauda Squid

I've had this dish on my mind for about two years, ever since I tried something like it on my first trip to Animal. Animal is known for their meat-heavy cooking, but their grilled bagna cauda octopus was spicy, bright, perfectly cooked, and my favorite dish of the night. They've since removed it from their menu, so this is my attempt at recreating it at home. I used calamari instead of octopus because it's easier and faster to cook but it's really the perfect vessel to stand up to the spicy, flavor-packed bagna cauda (a tradition Italian dip that's full of garlic and anchovies). Make sure to serve some bread with the dish so you can sop up the rest of the delicious sauce.

Spicy Bagna Cauda Squid:
  • Clean 1 lb. of calamari (bodies only) and slice into rings.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1/3 c. olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  • Add in a whole head of minced garlic (about 15 cloves), 6-8 anchovies (backbone removed), and a few large pinches of red chili flakes.
  • Cook until anchovies have melted and the garlic is tender, about 8 minutes.
  • Add in the calamari, season with salt* and pepper, and cook until tender (about 5 minutes).
  • Turn off the heat, then stir in the juice of half a lemon.
  • To serve, divide into bowls and serve with more fresh lemon slices and toasted bread.

Serves two
*The anchovies will already add salt to the dish, so use sparingly.