Fisherman’s Calamari Linguini

calamari pasta

This dish is true San Francisco Italian fisherman’s fare — simple and fast to prepare.


1 1⁄2 lbs. squid, cleaned and patted dry
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced
1 28-oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup water
1 cup white wine
1⁄ 2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (reserve 1 tablespoon)
1 lb. fresh linguini, fettucini or spaghetti
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish


Cut squid bodies into 1⁄2 inch “rings.” If using tentacles, cut them in half vertically. Set aside.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan. Add minced garlic and cook over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, water, and white wine. Increase heat to high, and cook sauce for about 5 minutes, until sauce is reduced slightly and begins to thicken.

Add all but 1 tablespoon of the parsley to the tomato sauce. Lower heat, and simmer  uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. About 5 minutes before the sauce is done, add fresh pasta and cook until done. Pour into colander and drain well.

Add calamari to tomato sauce, then remove pan from heat and allow to stand, covered, for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the drained pasta and toss well.

Garnish with remaining parsley and basil leaves, if using,  and serve.

Fresh Calamari Salad


1 1/2 pounds squid, tubes and tentacles, cleaned and patted dry
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin, lightly toasted*
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 cup finely chopped and seeded tomato**
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


Cut the bodies (tubes) in half lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch wide pieces. Cut the tentacles in half lengthwise. Set aside.

Using a 6-quart saucepan with a steamer insert and lid, bring 1/2 inch of water to a boil in a 6-quart saucepan over high heat. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer.

Place the squid in a steamer insert and gently set over the simmering water. Cover and steam for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the steamer basket from the pot and plunge the cooked squid into an  ice water bath to stop the cooking. Remove from the water and drain thoroughly. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, toasted cumin and red pepper flakes. Add the cooked squid, tomato, onion, capers and cilantro and toss until combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Serve over bed of fresh greens with a wedge of lemon and a crusty baguette.

* To toast the cumin, heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add the cumin and stir-shake the pan until the cumin is very fragrant. This takes only a few seconds. Toasting the cumin enhances its taste and depth of flavor.

** If available, use a basket of multicolored cherry tomatoes, cut in half for a festive looking salad.

YIELD: 4 servings

SOURCE: Adapted from recipe by Alton Brown

Market Squid

Market-Squid-1Did you know that ‘calamari’ is Italian for “squid”? Those Italians figured out they could sell a lot more of their catch if it had a sexier name, so there you have it.

Market squid, as it’s known here in the Monterey Bay, is smaller than Humboldt Squid, found in coastal waters further north, and is caught in Central California between April and November. Not only are they popular for appetizers and salads, but fishermen also use them as bait.
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