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spaghetti al nero di seppie

Recipe of the week: Calamari pasta from San Domenico Palace, Taormina, a Four Seasons Hotel

By LLM Reporters on 4th September 2021

Pasta e Seppie is a traditional Sicilian plate re-examined. Featuring squid ink spaghetti, marinated calamari tagliatelle and a cream of zucchini, this dish has been curated by Massimo Mantarro, executive chef at Principe Cerami, located in the newly opened San Domenico Palace, Taormina, a Four Seasons Hotel.

The dish incorporates both of Sicily’s iconic landscapes, a taste of the ocean from the calamari, and earthy notes reminiscent of Sicily’s rocky cliffs from the pasta and zucchini. Here’s how to recreate this winning dish when you wish to wow guests at your next dinner party.

Ingredients (for four people)

For the stew   

1kg medium-sized calamari
100g spring onion
100g round, smooth tomatoes
1 garlic clove unpeeled
500ml sparkling water
Parsley stems to taste
Basil to taste
A pinch of salt, pepper and sugar to taste
A dash of extra virgin olive oil

For the cream of zucchini

400g zucchini
1 unpeeled, garlic clove
Fresh red pepper to taste                                                       
Salt and pepper to taste                                                          

For the spaghetti

280g squid ink spaghetti
50g spring onion
1 unpeeled, garlic clove                                                                     
Extra virgin olive oil to taste                                                
Fresh red pepper to taste                           
200g calamari stew (as per the above)
Fennel to taste
1 lemon                                                                                                                         


1. Cook the stew

Add all ingredients into a saucepan or pressure cooker. Allow the stew to cook, siphon out the broth and put it to one side.

2. Cook the marinated calamari

Wrap the cleaned calamari in clingfilm and place it in the freezer. Once frozen, remove and slice the calamari in the shape of tagliatelle and place in a bowl. In a pot warm up a little water with salt, bring to 60 degrees Celsius and start adding to the calamari slices, little by little until they start to change colour. Be careful not to overcook! Remove the excess water and dress the calamari with olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped wild fennel.

3. Make a cream of zucchini

Chop the zucchini, sauté in a saucepan with garlic, olive oil. Blend the zucchini (removing the garlic and peppers) and adding in some of the cooking water. Blend until smooth and liquid. Keep on the heat with a drizzle of olive oil.

4. Plate up with spaghetti

Brown the spring onion with olive oil, garlic and red pepper. Once brown, add the calamari stew to the pan. Cook the pasta in a separate pan, and once it is half cooked, add it to the stew to finish. Add salt and pepper to taste, grated lemon peel and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Serve up in a pasta dish with the cream of zucchini and marinated calamari.