Sicilian Squid Stew Recipe

Sicilian Squid Stew

Calamari in Umido is a classic recipe of Sicilian cuisine. I love this dish as it is straightforward and easy to make as long you follow one rule: either you cook the squid for 3 minutes or 30 minutes. All cooking in between will result in a tough and rubbery squid. Make sure to serve it with nice crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 40 minutes


  • 1 1/2 lb (675 g) squid, small to medium in size, tubes cleaned and cut into rings, tentacles left whole or cut in half
  • 28 oz (800 g) canned plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 anchovies fillets in oil
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup (240 ml) white wine
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup (7 g) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained


Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the anchovies and red pepper flakes. Cook anchovies breaking them up with a wooden spoon until they form a paste. Add the garlic and white wine. Bring to a boil and cook it for about 4 minutes longer to reduce the wine. Add the tomatoes. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the tomato stew for about 30 minutes, stirring now and then.

Add the parsley and capers. Taste for salt and pepper. The tomato stew should have a nice consistency, not too thick, a bit more soup-like. Add water if necessary.

Add the squid rings and cook it for 3 minutes or until the rings are opaque. Do not cook longer or squid will be rubbery.

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