Chefs' Recipes

Raes on Wategos's calamari skewers with 'nduja vinaigrette

A seafood take on Italian arrostinici skewers, with added kick from 'nduja.

By Jason Saxby
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking
  • Makes 12 skewers
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"I love the flavour and texture of these arrosticini-style skewers, inspired by southern Italian coastal cooking," says Jason Saxby. "They pack a punch with flavour and a little heat from the 'nduja. For a chilli-free alternative, try an anchovy dressing, so you still get the salty, umami flavour that it brings to the dish."

Ingredients

  • 12 rosemary sprigs, most leaves removed and stalks soaked in cold water
  • 200 gm southern calamari, cleaned (see note), cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced widthways
  • 24 thin slices mild pancetta (about 200gm), cut into 3cm pieces
  • Canola oil, for brushing
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
'Nduja vinaigrette
  • 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 1 tbsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 25 gm 'nduja (see note)
  • 100 ml red wine vinegar
  • 25 gm caster sugar

Method

  • 1
    For 'nduja vinaigrette, place oil, rosemary and garlic in a frying pan over low heat and cook until edges of rosemary and garlic start to turn golden (2-3 minutes). Add 'nduja, stirring to break it up, then add vinegar, sugar and 50ml water. Stir well and taste – it should be spicy, tangy and a little sweet, but balanced. Set aside.
  • 2
    Trim thick end of rosemary sprigs to a sharp angle. Skewer a piece of calamari onto a sharp rosemary sprig, followed by a slice of zucchini, then pancetta, then repeat with ingredients, finishing with a piece of calamari. Repeat with remaining ingredients and skewers, then refrigerate until required.
  • 3
    Preheat a barbecue to high. Brush skewers with a little oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Grill skewers, turning, until lightly charred and cooked (1-2 minutes per side). Transfer to a platter and drizzle the 'nduja vinaigrette over. Serve with lemon wedges.

Notes

Ask your fishmonger to clean the calamari for you. 'Nduja, a spicy, spreadable salami, is available from Italian delicatessens.