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Primi: East Coast Small Calamari with Garlic & Lemon Sauce and Classic Gnocchi

Recipe Serves Two (2)

In the traditional Italian way and especially in the region of Veneto (Venice), dinner will have a middle course (primi) in between the appetizer and the main course. This dish is a take on a Venetian primi dish. I suggest you eat it as a main course because it’s rich and filling. I suggest you serve grilled broccolini or grilled leeks on the side.

·       ¾ pound of fresh medium size squid (body and tentacles)

·       One squeeze of lemon juice (fresh)

·       3 cloves of fresh garlic (chopped fine)

·       ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil

·       1/3 cup of Heavy cream

·       ½ cup of dry white wine

·       Salt

·       Crushed black pepper

·       1 pound of potato gnocchi (fresh if possible)


Rinse your squid under fresh water and be certain to remove any cuttlebone left in the body

Dry on a kitchen rag or paper towel. (Reserve in the refrigerator)

Put water to boil, drop gnocchi, and let them cook until they are floating. Strain them and reserve.

In a large skillet, let olive oil to be hot (medium heat). Deposit squid and let them cook for 4 minutes. (With a wooden spoon or spatula flip them at half time), add garlic and stir. Let cook for 2 more minutes. Add lemon juice, stir again, and add white wine. Let cook (medium heat) for a few more minutes and add gnocchi and stir well. Add cream, stir, reduce to low heat and continue to cook until the sauce is slightly thick. Serve immediately.


Wine Pairing:

J.C. Somers, Chardonnay 2019 “Corrine Vineyard”, Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, OR   $42

         - This Chardonnay’s old world-style acidity demands a pairing with rich and creamy dishes. (not oaky at all)


Frog’s leap, Chardonnay 2018 “Shale and Stone”, Carneros, Napa Valley, CA.  $43

-        Full & bright palate with lots of minerality, fresh finish with a Chablis character.


Folk Machine, Chenin blanc 2019, “Merritt Island” Clarksburg, CA   $26

Pairs perfectly with this fresh seafood dish with white sauce and crisp saltines