Lou "the Glue" Marcelli
San Francisco's Lou "the Glue" Marcelli shares his recipe for pasta calamari, in his own words:
Okay, first you get your calamari and then you have to clean it, which is a very simple thing. Calamari is nice and white when it's fresh. After a couple of days it starts getting a little red and pinkish and you know it's not fresh. So I make sure of that. Then if I want to keep it a couple days or a week or so, I freeze it — but I freeze it in milk. That's a new trick I learned. It takes all that kind of fishy, slimy stuff out. And when it thaws out, it's perfect.
And then I get parsley, garlic, olive oil, a shallot or an onion or whatever, and a good white wine. Lately, I've been putting in vodka… try that.
You sauté your garlic and your parsley and onion, or shallot in this hot olive oil. Then you pour in the vodka — good stuff — and you get this huge flame that comes up and it looks very dramatic. In the meantime, you got your water boiling. You're cooking your pasta and you've got your sauce all ready and your calamari, which takes three to five minutes to cook, and you've got a gourmet meal in 20 minutes.
Don't overcook it — that's the secret of calamari. Just like the pasta you can undercook it, too, and it'll be like a rubber band. Just pick one up every once in a while and taste it; that's how you cook. Same thing with pasta. Just pick one up and taste it as it goes. You'll be fine. It doesn't take a rocket science to do what I do. But, when it comes to making pasta, I am the one.