Italian Stewed Squid Recipe (Calamari in Umido)

Stewed Squid


• 1 kilogram small to medium squid (body 20 centimeters or 8 inches long)

• 1 kilogram of mature plum tomatoes

• 6-8 large anchovy fillets (in oil) finely chopped

• one-half cup chopped parsley

• one-half medium size white or yellow onion very finely chopped

• one-half cup white table wine

• extra virgin olive oil

• ground red pepper

• salt

• one large lemon

This is one of the many simple yet delicious seafood dishes for which Sicilian cuisine is famous. It can be served alone or as a sauce with long pasta such as spaghetti. (Remember that Sicilians do not sprinkle grated cheese over seafood pasta dishes.) This is actually similar to a Neapolitan recipe. The success of this recipe depends on the freshness of the ingredients (fresh squid rather than frozen ones, fresh tomatoes rather than canned ones). It’s healthy and easy to prepare.


1• Steam or boil the tomatoes for a minute to remove the skins ("blanching" them) and then chop the tomatoes into medium sized chunks. Set aside.

2• Clean the squid well, removing the backbone. Remove and save the heads with the hard "jaw" removed but the eyes and tentacles attached.

3• Cut the squid bodies into ring segments about two centimeters (or one-half inch) in width. Set aside.

4• In a small pan, sauté the onions in olive oil.

5• Then add the anchovies (chopped)

6• pepper and parsley

7• Allow these to simmer for a minute or less, forming a paste.

8• Add the wine and allow the mixture to simmer for a minute or two until most of the alcohol has evaporated.

9• Then add the squid rings and heads (drained well so that you add as little additional water as possible).

10• Allow these to cook over a low to medium flame, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes.

11• Then add the chopped tomatoes. Salt to taste.

12• Cook the complete mixture over medium to low heat for five to ten minutes. When it reaches a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Serve with lemon. As we mentioned, the stewed squid may be served over pasta.

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