Sicilian Squid Stew

Sicilian Squid Stew

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 40 minutes

Calamari in Umido is a classic of the Sicilian cuisine. Simple and easy to make as long you follow one rule: Either you cook the squid 3 minutes or 30 minutes. All cooking in between will result in a tough and rubbery squid. Serve with a nice crusty country bread.


  • 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
  • 28 oz (800 g) canned plum tomatoes, crushed
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup (about 10 g) Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ lb (675 g) squid, small to medium in size, cleaned and cut into rings


Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the anchovies and chili 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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