Calamari in Red Wine and Tomato Sauce Recipe -
Calamari in Red Wine and Tomato Sauce Recipe

Calamari in Red Wine and Tomato Sauce

Recipe by  

"Italian Christmas eve favorite - use your favorite spaghetti or tomato sauce as the base. This recipe can be doubled or tripled easily. Serve as a side, appetizer, or over pasta. Buon Natale!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings


  1. Separate the tentacles from the long body of the calamari, if not done already. Slice the body, or calamari tubes into rings about 1/2 to 2/3 inch thick, set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, combine tomato sauce, red wine, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, basil, and cheese. Simmer on medium low for about 30 minutes to give the alcohol in the wine time to evaporate, and all the flavors time to blend.
  3. Add the calamari to the sauce. Continue to slowly simmer for about another 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Calamari is done when it is plump and more opaque. Do not cook on higher heat or for a longer period, as calamari is famous for becoming rubbery.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 12, 2006

Thought this was very good & spicy. For a quicker version, I passed on using fresh calamari, frozen worked just fine...took less time.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jun 10, 2008

"Add the calamari to the sauce. Continue to slowly simmer for about another 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally" - seriously?? I added in the squid, and it was maybe 8 minutes for it to be done (about as long as it took for the calamari to take on the color of the sauce, and to plump up). The only other changes I made were to add a can of diced tomatoes, and I used Burgandy. This was a really nice meal, but I would never ever simmer any kind of seafood for 30 minutes.


49 Ratings

Jan 16, 2006

This was good. Anoter reviewer suggested this was easy. IT IS NOT!! Cleaning 2 lbs of squid takes a minimum of 45 minutes and that is if you know what you are doing. DO NOT USE FRESH SQUID LIKE I DID. It is too tender and turns mushy when cooked, not rubbery like frozen does. The sauce was tasty and I will make again but will add ground meat (or better yet, razor clams). If anyone cares here is how you clean squid. First you pull all the heads off, then you cut off the tentacles off above the eyes. Discard the lower portion of the head. Turn the tentacles inside out and cut off the round bulb center. Rinse and Drain. For the body of the squid, pull out all the back bones. Remove the black skin surface. Cut squid into round pieces. Turn each piece inside out and remove any yuck stuff on the inside under running water, drain. Now instead of putting them in this recipe dredge in a mixture of rice flour and pepper, deep fry in hot oil just seconds (till they float, less than a minute). Drain on paper towel. Make a mixture of low call mayo and sliced peperoncini and dip the squid in till your hearts content. (or a good cocktail sauce)

Apr 25, 2007

This is such a quick and easy dish that produces a lovely meal. All the flavors blend so nicely. I used 1 can of petite diced tomatoes and sauteed 2 cloves garlic and some paste in EVOO. Added some capers. I also used frozen calamari and I didn't have one rubberband! Key as stated in the instructions, is to cook very slow and low heat. I taste-tested the calamari and they were done before the time stated but they were thinner slices. Added some fresh chopped parsley for garnish.

Apr 26, 2006

This is so so so so good. I definitely recommend simmering the sauce longer to thicken it up. I run up to Baltimore on business often and have become spoiled on this dish, I am so happy to be able to make this at home now. I love serving this with fresh, thick French bread. Thanks!

Dec 13, 2006

This is a staple recipe around our house now. You can ad an array of seafood \ shell fish to this recipe. Shrimp, Stone crab claws, muscules. It's all good. I always at least double it, excluding the seafood. Than I freeze it in bags. I add the meat the next time we reheat the sauce.

Aug 05, 2006

Fantastic! My wife loved this recipe even though I thought there was too much sauce. I cooked the calamari only about 6-8 minutes so they wouldn't get tough. There was enough sauce left over that I saved it and used it the next day (adding canned clams) to make a fantastic red clam sauce for pasta. My wife asked me again today when I am making this again...I guess it will be tomorrow.

Feb 24, 2006

SOOO good! I barely followed the recipe and it was great, it seems very easy to modify. I used fresh basil, and much more, 8 torn up leaves maybe. Also added a giant spoonfull of ricotta (needed to get rid of it) which made the sauce a bit thicker. Used paprika instead of cayanne pepper which I didn't have. Used juice of half a small lemon. Didn't add the olive oil, didn't feel it needed it. And used pomodora tomato sauce. I think thats all. Just served it with fresh bread and over whole wheat spaghetti with shredded parm on top, mmmmmmm!


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  • Calories
  • 257 kcal
  • 13%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 15.5 g
  • 5%
  • Cholesterol
  • 359 mg
  • 120%
  • Fat
  • 6.5 g
  • 10%
  • Fiber
  • 2.6 g
  • 10%
  • Protein
  • 28.1 g
  • 56%
  • Sodium
  • 1004 mg
  • 40%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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