Dad’s Squid Stew
Adapted from: Complete Book of Italian Cooking, Veronica Sperling and Christine McFadden
Serves 2 generously, with leftovers, or 4 not-so-generously, with the need for extra side dishes
You will need:
2 pounds whole squid or 1 ½ pound tentacles, cleaned and peeled
3 T olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1-2 sprigs rosemary (I didn't have rosemary on hand, so I used oregano with excellent results)
1 cup water and 2/3 cup dry white wine OR 1 ½ cup fish stock or water (I used the water/wine combo)
14 ounce can chopped tomatoes
2 T tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika
2 T basil chiffonade
½ pound eggplant, gut into chunks (I used a couple of young Japanese eggplants and cut them into rings, leaving the skin on)
Parsley or rosemary to garnish (I garnished with chopped chives because I have so many of them on hand)
To make the stew:
Cut squid into ½ inch by 2 inch slices, and/or cut tentacles into two inch lengths. Heat oil in dutch oven and cook onion and garlic until soft. Add squid. Increase heat and continue to cook about 10 minutes until sealed and beginning to color lightly. The squid will not sear, like other meats, but will release a lot of water and firm up. Add red pepper, rosemary (or oregano), and wine or stock, bring to boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Discard rosemary (or oregano) sprigs, add tomatoes, tomato paste, and paprika. Taste the soupy liquid for salt, and add it if necessary--you may not need any. Continue to simmer, covered, gently for 45 to 60 minutes, until squid is tender. In the last fifteen minutes, stir in eggplant chunks and basil then continue to simmer.
According to Dad, don’t shortchange the simmer time—at least 90 minutes total works to get the squid relaxed into delicious chunks. When the squid is tender and the sauce is rich, give it a good stir, adjust seasonings, and serve with crusty bread.
One delicious squid meal down, and a few more to go! I'm still open to suggestions.