You've likely heard that calamari needs to be cooked for a minute--or for a very long time. Here's why: When you cook squid rapidly (just to heat it through), you're not doing much to transform the collagen from its tender native state. If you cook it just a moment too long, the collagen starts to denature, strands unravel, and you get rubber bands. At this point, you must shift to a longer cooking mode. Add some acid from tomatoes, and a long, low and slow braise, and you get hydrolyzed, tender collagen. And that's delicious.

Recipe by Oxmoor House October 2014


Credit: Oxmoor House

Recipe Summary

15 mins
1 hr 30 mins
Serves 6 (serving size: 2/3 cup pasta and 1 cup squid mixture)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist

  • Dry the squid well on paper towels.

  • Heat a Dutch oven to medium-high for about 3 minutes. A constant, well distributed medium-high is always better and more controllable than screaming high heat.

  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and immediately add half of the squid.

  • Sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, almost as if to stir-fry. Get some color on them.

  • Place cooked squid in a large Dutch oven.

  • Cook the rest of the squid: add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Move the second batch of cooked squid to the Dutch oven.


  • Return the pan to the heat and reduce the temperature to medium. Add the onion, the garlic, and the chiles. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or until slightly soft.

  • Add the wine to the pan. Cook 3 minutes or until reduced by half.

  • Add the reduced wine to the squid, along with the tomatoes, the lemon zest, the red pepper, and the salt. Stir to incorporate.


  • Bring the squid mixture to a boil. Only for a moment.

  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer, but don't boil, for an hour and 15 minutes.


  • While the squid is simmering, cook the spaghetti for 6 minutes. Drain it well. There's plenty of sauce, and you don't want to dilute it.

  • Add the pasta to the squid for the last 5 minutes of its cooking time.

  • The squid should be tender at this moment. Turn off the heat.

  • Stir in the lemon juice, half of the parsley, and the black pepper. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with the remaining half of the parsley, and serve while still piping hot.


Cooking Light Mad Delicious

Nutrition Facts

362 calories; fat 7.3g; saturated fat 1.4g; mono fat 3.5g; poly fat 1.3g; protein 30g; carbohydrates 41g; fiber 3g; cholesterol 352mg; iron 3mg; sodium 663mg; calcium 81mg.