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Topo's Restaurant in Victoria, B,C. Canada, Calamari Dish?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hello all, I am seeking help in locating a recipe or in recreating it in some way and hoping someone knows the recipe or of an original recipe that is very similar please. Mario Batali has a similar sauce flavour in Calamari Neapolitan but Topos was a more textured tomato base.


Many years ago in Victoria, B,C. I used to take clients and such to Topos restarante and I nearly always had a tomato based, garlic and finely chopped calamari dish. Mouth watering as I write here.  Topos closed up perhaps 6-10 or so years back and had a Scottish chef owner.  The Italian food was brilliant and was quite authentic as I was told the chef trained in Italy and as I have been to Italy many times as a Paratrooper:-) (I originally trained as a Chef right from school)


The dish was very finely chopped calamari nestled in a sauce like Calamari Neapolitan-style but rather than a soupy sauce base it was a textured finely chopped tomato and roasted garlic based sauce?


Anyone have a recipe I can try as an old ex military, now gimpy, (disabled) wanna be cook:-)


All help greatly appreciated.



post #2 of 3

Jumper, I have the dutch translation of an Italian cook book that originally calls "L'Italia del gusto" issued by www.foodeditore.it

It contains as they claim 300 authentic regional recipes. One of them looks somewhat like the one you're looking for.


It's called "Moscardini in umido". Not a recipe from the south of Italy but of Liguria in the north part of Italy, leaning against France. 

They use moscardini which are baby octopus. I would guess that squid cut in small parts will do perfectly too. Of course when using moscardini, you always use body ànd arms of the squid.


Ingredients (4-6 pers.); 2 tbsp. of olive oil, 1 chopped onion, 1clove of garlic, 1 small branch of rosemary, 3 tbsp. of finely chopped parsley plus a few sprigs for garnish of the finished plate, 2,5 dl (= approx. 1 cup) of passata, s&p, 2 kg (4lb) of mini octopus (moscardini), 8 slices of toasted stale bread.


In a deep pan, fry the onion, garlic, rosemary and parsley in olive oil until the onion is soft. Add passata and season with s&p. Let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes. Add some hot water if necessary to adjust the consistency.

Add the squid, put a lid on the pan and let simmer for 45 minutes on low fire.

Put a slice of toasted bread on the plates and add the preparation on it. Add a sprinkle of parsley.


Personal note;

- you might know that there are 2 ways to cook squid; ultra-short on extremely hot fire, or, braised for 45-60 minutes. Everything in between will result in uber-chewy squid.

- I guess the use of toasted bread is optional

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hiya Chris and many thanks for speedy response, recipe, translations and  great help, wow, amazingly close and even the title feels familiar:-)


My neighbor is Italian and also used to visit Topos restaurant so will see what he thinks and get cooking and see for myself hey:-)lol


Its funny but I went through Parachute Regt training with a Chris Belgium in the early 1970s and I believe he was from Bristol, England, just a strange coincidence perhaps:-) lol


Greatly appreciated help.



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