Italian Christmas eve favorite - use your favorite spaghetti or tomato sauce as the base. This recipe can be doubled or tripled easily. Serve as a side, appetizer, or over pasta. Buon Natale!

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Recipe Summary

Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Separate the tentacles from the long body of the calamari, if not done already. Slice the body, or calamari tubes into rings about 1/2 to 2/3 inch thick, set aside.

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  • In a saucepan, combine tomato sauce, red wine, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, basil, and cheese. Simmer on medium low for about 30 minutes to give the alcohol in the wine time to evaporate, and all the flavors time to blend.

  • Add the calamari to the sauce. Continue to slowly simmer for about another 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Calamari is done when it is plump and more opaque. Do not cook on higher heat or for a longer period, as calamari is famous for becoming rubbery.

Nutrition Facts

257 calories; protein 28.1g; carbohydrates 15.5g; fat 6.5g; cholesterol 359.5mg; sodium 1004.3mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (39)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
11/12/2006
Thought this was very good & spicy. For a quicker version I passed on using fresh calamari frozen worked just fine...took less time. Read More
(42)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
06/11/2008
"Add the calamari to the sauce. Continue to slowly simmer for about another 20 - 30 minutes stirring occasionally" - seriously?? I added in the squid and it was maybe 8 minutes for it to be done (about as long as it took for the calamari to take on the color of the sauce and to plump up). The only other changes I made were to add a can of diced tomatoes and I used Burgandy. This was a really nice meal but I would never ever simmer any kind of seafood for 30 minutes. Read More
(54)
54 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 22
  • 4 star values: 22
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 5
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 3 stars
06/11/2008
"Add the calamari to the sauce. Continue to slowly simmer for about another 20 - 30 minutes stirring occasionally" - seriously?? I added in the squid and it was maybe 8 minutes for it to be done (about as long as it took for the calamari to take on the color of the sauce and to plump up). The only other changes I made were to add a can of diced tomatoes and I used Burgandy. This was a really nice meal but I would never ever simmer any kind of seafood for 30 minutes. Read More
(54)
Rating: 4 stars
11/12/2006
Thought this was very good & spicy. For a quicker version I passed on using fresh calamari frozen worked just fine...took less time. Read More
(42)
Rating: 3 stars
01/16/2006
This was good. Anoter reviewer suggested this was easy. IT IS NOT!! Cleaning 2 lbs of squid takes a minimum of 45 minutes and that is if you know what you are doing. DO NOT USE FRESH SQUID LIKE I DID. It is too tender and turns mushy when cooked not rubbery like frozen does. The sauce was tasty and I will make again but will add ground meat (or better yet razor clams). If anyone cares here is how you clean squid. First you pull all the heads off then you cut off the tentacles off above the eyes. Discard the lower portion of the head. Turn the tentacles inside out and cut off the round bulb center. Rinse and Drain. For the body of the squid pull out all the back bones. Remove the black skin surface. Cut squid into round pieces. Turn each piece inside out and remove any yuck stuff on the inside under running water drain. Now instead of putting them in this recipe dredge in a mixture of rice flour and pepper deep fry in hot oil just seconds (till they float less than a minute). Drain on paper towel. Make a mixture of low call mayo and sliced peperoncini and dip the squid in till your hearts content. (or a good cocktail sauce) Read More
(36)
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Rating: 4 stars
04/25/2007
This is such a quick and easy dish that produces a lovely meal. All the flavors blend so nicely. I used 1 can of petite diced tomatoes and sauteed 2 cloves garlic and some paste in EVOO. Added some capers. I also used frozen calamari and I didn't have one rubberband! Key as stated in the instructions is to cook very slow and low heat. I taste-tested the calamari and they were done before the time stated but they were thinner slices. Added some fresh chopped parsley for garnish. Read More
(27)
Rating: 5 stars
04/26/2006
This is so so so so good. I definitely recommend simmering the sauce longer to thicken it up. I run up to Baltimore on business often and have become spoiled on this dish I am so happy to be able to make this at home now. I love serving this with fresh thick French bread. Thanks! Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
12/13/2006
This is a staple recipe around our house now. You can ad an array of seafood \ shell fish to this recipe. Shrimp Stone crab claws muscules. It's all good. I always at least double it excluding the seafood. Than I freeze it in bags. I add the meat the next time we reheat the sauce. Read More
(11)
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Rating: 2 stars
03/26/2008
Too hot & canned tomato sauce doesn't help. Need fresh tomato sauce Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
08/05/2006
Fantastic! My wife loved this recipe even though I thought there was too much sauce. I cooked the calamari only about 6-8 minutes so they wouldn't get tough. There was enough sauce left over that I saved it and used it the next day (adding canned clams) to make a fantastic red clam sauce for pasta. My wife asked me again today when I am making this again...I guess it will be tomorrow. Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
02/24/2006
SOOO good! I barely followed the recipe and it was great it seems very easy to modify. I used fresh basil and much more 8 torn up leaves maybe. Also added a giant spoonfull of ricotta (needed to get rid of it) which made the sauce a bit thicker. Used paprika instead of cayanne pepper which I didn't have. Used juice of half a small lemon. Didn't add the olive oil didn't feel it needed it. And used pomodora tomato sauce. I think thats all. Just served it with fresh bread and over whole wheat spaghetti with shredded parm on top mmmmmmm! Read More
(11)
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