Fall into Cooking Featured Recipe from Ethan Stowell's New Italian Kitchen: Mob-Hit Squid
Mob-Hit Squid is one of my favorite recipes in the book, clean fresh flavors, not too challenging to prepare and easy to serve at a party. It’s not so much "new" Italian as it is classic Italian with a playful name to make sure you know that cooking is meant to be fun for all. --Ethan Stowell
1 cup Controne Beans (recipe following)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
8 large squid, cleaned
1/2 pound Home-Cured Bacon (recipe following), diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the grill on high.
Pulse the beans in a food processor into a rough purée, then place in a bowl with the parsley and the olive oil.
Cut the tentacles off the squid bodies in one piece, keeping the legs intact and creating a large opening at the bottom of each squid body. Grill, turning once, until the tentacles are just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and give the tentacles a rough chop. Add the grilled tentacles to the bowl with the bean purée.
Place the bacon in a sauté pan over medium to medium-low heat and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the bacon slightly crisps and renders some of its fat. Drain the bacon and add to the rest of the ingredients. Mix gently but thoroughly with a rubber spatula. Season with salt and pepper.
To stuff the squid, you can use a pastry bag fitted with a large tip, a resealable bag with a corner cut off, or a small spoon. Fill the bodies loosely because the stuffing will expand during cooking. After filling, close the top of each squid by threading a toothpick through twice.
Rub each body with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the squid until the bodies are opaque and the filling is heated through, 6 to 8 minutes.
1 cup controne beans
1 head garlic, halved horizontally
1 large carrot, peeled and halved
2 stalks celery
1 thick slice lemon
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Put the beans, garlic head, carrot, and celery in a large pot over high heat and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender. Remove the vegetables and strain the beans, then put into a serving bowl. While the beans are still warm, add the lemon slice, garlic clove, olive oil, and salt to taste. The beans will absorb the flavors and seasoning as they cool; they will be ready to serve after 10 minutes, but are equally good served at room temperature.
Note: To prepare the beans ahead of time, cook until tender, then cool in their cooking liquid in the refrigerator. Reheat in the liquid, then strain and proceed with the recipe.
Makes a heck of a lot of great bacon
1 fresh pork belly, skin removed, 7 to 9 pounds
2 to 3 tablespoons ground Aleppo pepper, to taste
3 pounds kosher salt
1 teaspoon curing salt
1 pound granulated sugar
1 pound brown sugar
Rub the pork belly top and bottom with the Aleppo pepper. Combine the kosher salt, curing salt, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large, nonreactive container and bury the belly completely in the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 2 days.
Remove the belly from the refrigerator and discard the cure. Rinse the remaining cure off the meat and pat it dry. Set the belly on a baking sheet and loosely cover. Allow to sit in the refrigerator another 2 days.
Using a conventional smoker, smoke the belly until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. Once the belly is smoked and cooled, cut into 4 sections. Wrap the sections well in plastic wrap and foil and store in the freezer until needed, up to 3 months.