Calamari Casserole from Capri
From the Isle of Capri, a casserole that's light enough for spring into summer. A kind of bouillabaise soup cum mains that needs crusty rustic bread to scoop it up. Serves around 4 medium mains. Adapted from ‘The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook‘, by Nancy Harmon-Jenkins (Bantam Press, 1994 edition).
Recipe type: Hot mains
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: serve 4 mains
  • 10-12 small calamari or squid (around 1kg), cleanedprint button transparent
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 2 fresh chillis
  • sprigs of fresh bay leaves
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 large wine glass dry white wine
  • sea salt
  • 1 x 400g tin of peeled plum tomatoes
  • 8 medium potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped (not diced small though)
  • zest and juice of two lemons
  • fresh-ground black pepper to season
  1. Clean and gut the calamari or ask your fishmonger to do this. Rinse them, pat dry and slice the bodies into rings and chop the tentacles in shorter lengths. Marinade in the zest and juice of one lemon along with a sprig of bay and the chilli, whole but scored. Keep covered in the fridge.
  2. When ready to cook, drain the calamari from the marinade, which can you now discard. Then, heat the olive oil in a heavy-based casserole over a medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and chilli (having de-seeded and diced them). Saute’ for around 2 minutes until they soften a little.
  3. Now, add the calamari and fry, tossing occasionally, until they curl up a bit and give off liquid. Add the white wine and a pinch of sea salt and turn up the heat a little to evaporate off the alcohol.
  4. Add the tomatoes and potatoes; bring to the boil then reduce to a slow simmer and cook the casserole for around 40 minutes, or until the potatoes and calamari are tender. The potatoes, if using waxy ones, should remain in tact.
  5. Right before serving, add the juice and zest of the second lemon. You can sprinkle with parsley and/or garnish with more fresh bay. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve in wide soup dishes along with plenty of crusty bread.
Recipe by The Red Bistro at