Squid stewed with tomato is a fairly common dish in our seafood cuisine. A dish born in Campania and then spread almost exclusively in a Neapolitan version, although enriched with local variations, for example in Sicily.
In other regions, stewed squid has always been cooked primarily without tomato.
It makes sense, because cooking stewed squid is closely related to mollusk size. In the case of squid, 5 minutes is enough. For a medium-sized squid (20 cm long) it takes 20 minutes, and only for larger squid it reaches 35-40 minutes. In addition, squid are also excellent cooked quickly dry: grilled or roasted.
Which means, for me it only takes a few minutes to stew a medium squid, no other wet ingredients, such as tomatoes, are needed. A little wine, or vinegar, or even just the moisture that the squid itself gives off when sautéing can be enough. That may be enough… if, obviously, the fire (cake) and evaporation (lid) are managed correctly.
Our recipe calls for medium-large squid. Not because the smallest or the squid They are not good. Actually they can also be stewed with fresh tomatoes, paying attention to the cooking times. But the thing is that squid is best cooked grilled, fried or stewed with just a little vinegar. This last recipe is excellent. Which I highly recommend, following the very simple recipe that you can read here, in the yellow box.
Recipe for approximately 800 g of clean squid. Pour plenty of oil into a frying pan (a lot to fry the squid, but without overdoing it: it doesn’t fry!) and sauté 2 cloves of crushed garlic with all their layers. After a few minutes we add the cleaned squid (and, above all, dry up as much as possible) and fry them over medium high heat it is covered for 2 minutes. Then wet them with 3-4 tablespoons of good vinegar and let them cook for 3 more minutes. We turn off the heat, remove the squid with a slotted spoon, season it with a generous amount of freshly ground pepper, a little salt and that’s it… hide away to quietly eat your squid stewed in vinegar.
Trivial indication, this last one, but indispensable: if you have to share them with others, you risk arguing!
More than for squid, Recipes stewed with tomatoes are numerous for other mollusks.. That require somewhat longer cooking times (sepia and totani) or much longer (octopus). Be careful with squid, which is often passed off as squid, but is much tougher – see sheet below.
The simple recipe that we propose is undoubtedly the most used. If you want something “richer”In Naples, many add a handful of black olives (from Gaeta) along with the tomatoes. Replacing parsley with basil is also appreciated. In Sicily, in addition to olives, it is also customary to add pine nuts and dried raisins.
- 1 kg large squid
- 600 g tomato pulp
- 2 cloves of garlic
- dry white wine
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Carefully clean the squid, removing the insides and the bladder that contains the ink. Also remove the feather (inner cartilage), eyes and beak, then peel them. Finally, rinse them well with cold water and cut them into small pieces, drain them and then dry them roughly with a cloth.
- Chop the garlic cloves together with a sprig of parsley and let them brown gently in a saucepan with 5-6 tablespoons of oil
- Pour the squid into the saucepan, increase the heat (medium) and let it season for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Then sprinkle them with half a large glass of wine (about 100 ml) and let it evaporate while stirring.
- Add the tomato, reduce the heat (slow), season with salt moderately, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Finally, we add plenty of ground pepper and complete the cooking, always over low heat (another 5-10 minutes should be enough). Add another tablespoon of chopped parsley before bringing your still hot Neapolitan stewed squid to the table.
In the market (both fresh and frozen) you can find both squid and totani. They are distant relatives, but they look very similar, so it still happens that you find squid pretending to be squid.
In the kitchen they are often used interchangeably for the same dishes. However, squid is much less valuable. (and therefore costs less) and has tougher meat, which remains that way even after prolonged cooking.
In any case, if you decide to use squid, remember that the cooking times in the previous recipe should be extended by about ten minutes.
If, on the other hand, you feel like cooking some good stewed squid… Use squid! If you buy them frozen, read the scientific name on the package.: Loligo Vulgaris for the squid, Todorodes Sagittarius for the totani.
The difference between the two mollusks. fresh is appreciated above all for the color.
The squid They are purplish-pink, dotted with dark red specks.
the squids On the other hand, which are larger, they have a brownish color with a tendency to orange.
Finally they are the fins are different too: Squid ones are thin and (in proportion to the body of the mollusk, not in actual size) they are larger, because they start in the middle of the mantle. Those of squid, on the other hand, are close to the tail, with which they almost form an arrowhead.