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November 25, 2014
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Food Traditions - Italian


Warm honey and sprinkles for the topping
Put the flour into a mound, and then make a hole in the center. Put the sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder and cinnamon into this hole. Using a fork, begin to mix everything together by pulling the flour slowly into the egg mixture.
Once everything is well mixed, form the dough into rolls, about the width of your thumb. Cut each roll into 1-inch pieces.
Fry each piece of struffoli in oil heated to 375°F until golden and puffed. Drain on paper towels and top with warm honey & add sprinkles for décor.

Spicy calamari
1 pound calamari, cleaned
½ cup milk, only if needed
1 cup cake flour
¼ cup bread crumbs
Oil for frying (about 2 cups for a 6-quart saucepan)
Salt
Lemon slices for garnish.

Spicy marinara
1 cup basic marinara sauce
2 to 3 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 to ¼ teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice

To prepare the spicy marinara, add the extra virgin olive oil, red pepper and garlic to a sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté until the garlic is just fragrant.
Add the marinara sauce and continue to heat until the sauce is hot. Stir in the lemon juice, remove the pan from the heat and cover to keep warm.
To prepare the calamari, cut the calamari tubes into rings, about ¼-inch thick. Leave the tentacles whole.
Combine the flour and bread crumbs in bowl and toss the cut calamari in the flour mixture to lightly coat it. If your calamari has been bought prepared you may need to first dip the calamari in milk to add a bit of moisture for the flour to stick.
While you are preparing the calamari, if you are using a deep fryer, heat the oil up to 350°F. If you do not have a deep fryer, you can use a small (6 quart) sauce pan just as well. Fill the pot with oil & heat to 350°F.
Working in a couple batches to avoid crowding, add the floured calamari and fry until just lightly golden—about 3 to 4 minutes depending upon the oil and thickness of the calamari. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel or napkin covered platter to drain.
Pile the fried calamari attractively on a warm serving platter. Lightly salt the calamari with sea salt and a few squeezes of fresh lemon to taste. Place the warm spicy marinara sauce in small dipping bowl on the platter with slices of fresh lemon.