Squid in Black Sauce

Calamares en su Tinta

This can be made with medium squid (8-10 inches) or with tiny ones, called chipirones. Small ones are left whole, stuffed with the chopped tentacles, fins and a bit of ham, while larger ones are cut into squares.

Servings: 6 as a starter

Prep Time: 45 min.[PT45M]

Cook Time: 1 hr. 25 min.[PT1H25M]


2 - 1/4 lb fresh squid
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 lb tomatoes, peeled and chopped
6 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp brandy
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
Pinch of cayenne
Chopped parsley
Triangles of fried bread


To prepare squid for cooking:

Whole squid has a long, narrow body pouch, white mottled with violet, from which protrudes a knob of a head and short little legs. To clean squid, gently pull the head out from the body pouch. It should come away with most of the entrails as well. Attached to the entrails is a tiny silver sac, which contains the ink. Save the ink sacs in a cup covered with 2 tbsp of the wine. Cut the tentacles off just above the eyes and reserve them. Discard the head and entrails. Still inside the body pouch is the quill, a transparent stiffener. Pull it out and discard. Next pull off the wing flaps from the body pouch and reserve them. Then remove all the pinkish membrane from the squid and discard. You should now have a white-fleshed body pouch, two wing flaps and a squiggle of tentacle, all edible. Wash the pieces in running water. If the squid is to be fried, use scissors to cut the body pouch, crosswise, into rings. For this dish, cut the body pouch into 2 inch squares. Pat dry with paper toweling. Heat the oil in a frying pan and very gently sauté the pieces of squid. Transfer them to a cazuela or flameproof casserole. In the oil sauté the garlic and onion until soft. Add the tomatoes, remaining wine, brandy, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Bring to a boil and simmer until somewhat reduced, about 15 minutes. Puree in a blender or put through a sieve, then pour the sauce over the squid in the casserole. Cover and cook until the squid are very tender, about 45 minutes. Break the ink sacs with a spoon and stir to dilute. Add to the squid and cook for another few minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with the fried bread.

Recipe courtesy of Spain GourmeTour magazine.

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