- Kosher salt
- 1 cup Israeli couscous
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons currants
- 1/4 cup caperberries
- 1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes
- 1/4 to 1/2 white wine
- 2 cups basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
- 1 1/2 pounds cleaned calamari, tubes cut into 1/4-inch rounds, tentacles halved
- 5 scallions, thinly sliced, reserve some for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper
Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Set up an ice bath nearby. Cook the couscous in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and immediately plunge it into the ice bath. Once cooled, remove and set aside to dry on a plate.
Ina 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the oil until just smoking. Add the pine nuts, garlic, currants, caperberries and red pepper flakes, and saute until the pine nuts are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the couscous and bring to a boil. Add the calamari, stir to mix, and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes, or until the calamari is just cooked and completely opaque. Toss in the scallions. Season with salt and pepper, pour into a large warm bowl, sprinkle with the reserved scallions, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.
Basic tomato sauce:
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion, 1/4-inch dice
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
- 1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
- 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.