Christmas Eve Calamari


A red bowl with Christmas Eve calamari--calamari, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes in a tomato sauce.

For this Christmas Eve dish, calamari is simmered in a sauce of stewed tomatoes, vinegar, onions, garlic, pepper flakes, and sprinkled with parsley. A simpler version of Feast of the Seven Fishes.

A red bowl with Christmas Eve calamari--calamari, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes in a tomato sauce.A red bowl with Christmas Eve calamari--calamari, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes in a tomato sauce.

Domenica Marchetti | The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy | Chronicle Books, 2006

In recent years, I’ve noticed a most troubling trend: disappearing tentacles. It seems many restaurants no longer serve calamari. They serve only calamari rings—typically fried so as to appear like a pile of tiny onion rings. There’s not a tentacle in sight, presumably because they’re a reminder of what one is actually eating. The truth, however, is that the calamari tentacles hold much of the flavor. They also add texture and quite a startling visual appeal. And kids do love them. (I speak from experience.)–Domenica Marchetti

*How to Buy and Store Calamari

The creepy, otherworldly tentacles Domenica mentions above are still commonly available, along with their accompanying sacs, at many seafood counters. To select impeccable calamari, look for white, shiny specimens that look slick and smell like the sea. Store them on ice in your fridge for no more than a day. Although fresh is lovely, frozen squid can sometimes be fresher in the sense that it’s not been sitting around unfrozen for that long and compromises little, if anything, in taste or texture. Simply thaw under cool running water immediately prior to using.

READ THE ARTICLE: CHRISTMAS EVE CALAMARI

Christmas Eve Calamari

A red bowl with Christmas Eve calamari--calamari, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes in a tomato sauce.A red bowl with Christmas Eve calamari--calamari, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes in a tomato sauce.

For this Christmas Eve dish, calamari is simmered in a sauce of stewed tomatoes, vinegar, onions, garlic, pepper flakes, and sprinkled with parsley. A simpler version of Feast of the Seven Fishes.

Prep 45 mins

Cook 1 hr

Total 1 hr 45 mins

  • Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, cut the calamari sacs (bodies) into 1/2-inch-wide rings. Cut each crown of tentacles in half lengthwise to yield bite-size pieces.

  • In a large sauté pan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring from time to time, until softened and translucent, 7 to 8 minutes.

  • In a small bowl, mix together the garlic and the salt to form a paste. Add the paste to the onion in the pan and then stir in the red pepper flakes and oregano, mixing everything thoroughly. Add the calamari and stir to combine. Sauté for a minute or two. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the wine, and let the mixture bubble for 2 minutes. Pour in the tomatoes and their juices, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially, and simmer gently until the calamari are tender, 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Uncover and continue to simmer gently until the sauce has thickened somewhat, up to 15 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, uncovered, for 2 more minutes. Taste and season with salt if desired. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Spoon the calamari and sauce into shallow bowls and serve with the bruschetta or bread.

Serving: 1portionCalories: 557kcal (28%)Carbohydrates: 33g (11%)Protein: 39g (78%)Fat: 28g (43%)Saturated Fat: 10g (63%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 528mg (176%)Sodium: 543mg (24%)Potassium: 730mg (21%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 14g (16%)Vitamin A: 168IU (3%)Vitamin C: 15mg (18%)Calcium: 95mg (10%)Iron: 3mg (17%)

#leitesculinaria on Instagram#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published December 14, 2020

Recipe © 2006 Domenica Marchetti. Photo © 2006 William Meppem. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.

#leitesculinaria on Instagram#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.



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