Squid in Tomato Sauce

Calamari in Umido con Pomodoro  

Calamari cu’ Pumaroru 


When squid’s bodies and tentacles are cooked together, because of the dark pigmentation of the tentacles the sauce comes out in a murky almost black shade.   

The way we prepare this dish requires the extra step to boil the squid, tentacles and bodies separately, however without sacrificing on the taste, the result is worth the effort because the calamari in tomato sauce are delicately delicious and the lighter sauce can be appreciated as a condiment for plate of spaghetti or linguine; and in fact  in many Italian-American restaurants, squid in sauce are served with pasta; at Joe’ on Avenue U, we served the calamari in sauce with Sicilian style stewed potatoes. 


Serves 4 




  • 4 lbs clean squid, boiled as per instructions in the preface to squid    
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil     
  • 1 large onion finely chopped     
  • 3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed     
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste diluted in 1 cup of water     
  • 1 can 14 oz. peeled tomatoes     
  • 6 Basil leaves                                          
  • A pinch of oregano     
  • Salt and pepper to taste     
  • Peperoncino -  red hot pepper(optional)     
  • 1 cup of dry white wine     



Place the tomatoes in a bowl and crush them with your hands. Set aside.    

In a 4 quart saucepan, place the 4 tablespoons of oil and the onion. Sauté on medium heat, until the onion is light golden, then add the garlic cloves; after few minutes add the tomato paste diluted in water and sauté for about 5 minutes. If the sauce gets too dry add more water.    

Put into the pot the tomato, basil, oregano, the peperoncino (optional), salt and pepper; bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.    

Mix in the precooked calamari and the wine: should the sauce be too dry add more wine or water.    


                               Calamari in Sauce


Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a medium and simmer for an additional 15 minutes uncovered, to let the wine evaporate.    

If the sauce of the calamari is too watery simmer for additional time, until it reaches the desired consistency.   

Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.   

Serve the calamari con salsa with a crusty bread to mop the sauce. 

Or else cook 1 pound of spaghetti or linguine, to prepare the classic dish of pasta and squid in tomato sauce – con calamari al pomodoro. 


                              Squid in Sauce with Stewed Potatoes