Baked Macaroni with Calamari Tomato Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onions
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 cups chopped, peeled, seeded fresh tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 7 cups water
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 pound cleaned calamari, tentacles and bodies removed, cut into rings
- 1/8 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound small elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 1 cup fine dried bread crumbs
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a medium-size saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the cayenne, and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, wine, 1 cup of the water, the basil, parsley, and sugar. Stir to mix. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until thick, for 45 minutes. Add the calamari and simmer for 12 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the remaining 6 cups of water, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the vegetable oil. Bring to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool water. Pour into a 2-quart baking dish. Pour the calamari sauce over the macaroni and stir to mix. Arrange the olives on the top of the macaroni.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper and extra-virgin olive oil. Mix well and sprinkle over the olives. Bake until the bread crumbs are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Spoon onto serving plates and garnish with parsley.
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