Piedmont has a wonderful food culture. In the southern part of the region, the traditional dishes of Piedmont and Liguria mix. We had a wide variety of fish and seafood from Liguria daily. The owner of our fish shop in Acqui Terme traveled to the Ligurian coast every morning early in the morning, bringing back only freshly caught fish and seafood of the best quality.
One of my favorite pasta dishes is linguine with tomatoes and calamari. I always recommend finding fresh, small calamari (if possible). The small calamari are much more tender and cook in seconds.
Of course, excellent, aromatic tomatoes are never scarce in Piedmont. Yes, this sign really only means one euro for one kilo!
The recipe is simple and always popular. This is sufficient for 4 people as "primo piatto":
6 small calamari, cleaned, spines removed, and cut into small pieces. Keep your head, discard the ink part.
10 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 pound of linguine
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1-2 peperoncino or fresh chili, chopped (depending on how hot you like).
A handful of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
Olive oil (always!)
salt and pepper
Fry garlic and chili in olive oil over medium heat.
Add the tomatoes. Let the mixture cook for about 8-10 minutes to reduce the liquid by about half. Meanwhile, cook the noodles in salted water. Save a glass of the pasta water after the pasta is cooked.
Once the pasta is drained, mix it well with a little olive oil. Then set the noodles aside and cover with a lid.
Add the calamari to the tomato mixture. Cook the mixture until the calamari is tender and opaque - about 2 - 3 minutes.
Add your cooked pasta to your tomato calamari mix. Turn flame down. Add the parsley and sprinkle with a little olive oil. If necessary, add a little pasta water that you have set aside.
Salt and pepper. Basta!
Serve immediately (with a large green salad as a side).
The perfect Piedmontese / Ligurian style meal!
A fresh Piedmont white wine is the perfect partner for this meal.