it is true, i love eating squid. as in frutta di mare, at an adriatic sea side shack so many years since, yes, the dish contained some small amount of various fruits of the sea, but truthfully the frutta was mostly squid. mother went yack, father gave her the eye, but me, oh me-oh-my, i dug in. chomping those little squid heads and their round white circular bodies felt like lushing on forbidden fruit, certainly showing off my squeamish mother, under the marking eye of the cameriere, who declared me un conoscitore favoloso, un gourmand grande. that at least is what i recall and what was endlessly repeated in stories told before aunts and uncles and such likes at coffees and dinners later on, much to my red faced pride and discombobulate chagrin. i hated those aunts, yet while they were pinching my cheek, i cheated an eye at their bossom, well décolletéed, within easy reach of my nose.
i digress. and yet, when you get old you look back. and i like looking back when i prepare my simple version of calamari. i do mine in butter. not much else. if i have mushrooms i cook them first, then add the heads to the cremini's liquid. tentacled heads don't take long to sauté, i set them aside soon, then cue their bodies, cut into rounds. before any prep i ready boiling salt water for my spaghetti. i like doing farro pasta these days, in particular and in keeping with the italian kind, i use casino di caprafico, as authentic as you can get. i love italy, and i adore their arrogance, if only in view of untranslated specifics, like the paragraph of cottura e condimento on the back of the box.
so, the pasta is done. mushrooms and calamari are ready, their sauce plenty to covet those lovely brown strands of spaghetti.
there is often a question about imaging food. i have blog comments suggesting it fake. i do discourage fake food any which way, for any occasion. at a time when i illustrated craig claiborne's food for the ny times, i got to hear a lot about that. yet i declare i have never made a photograph of food which wasn't devoured the moment the picture was done. in fact when times were lean, the times supported my gourmand largesse, paying for extravagant ingredients if not for much of anything else. styling food is an art, i have mentioned this elsewhere. having an array of plates, flat-ware, napkins and back grounds helps. most of all though it matters the delight of the cook to eat, whether a recipe's image or simply one memory rendered like the fodder above.
i like to eat at a table well set. preferably with flowers. having a garden helps, but even a simple camellia ventures the notion that food tastes better when the eye is happy.