Calamari Stew

So, when this post is published I will be basking in calmness of my winter break.  Since I don’t celebrate Christmas, and Hanukkah is well behind me, so this is truly a week to celebrate doing nothing.  I may catch up on my house a bit, try to balance all the unhealthy indulgences with some gym time and try to take advantage of some holiday sales.

Calamari stew is one of my favorite things to prep for my school lunches.  In the winter I am always cold.  I keep my office temp at 80 degrees, but I still am crossing my arms looking for warmth.  This lunch helps warm things up a bit.  It’s a total snap to make, it’s low calorie, low fat and low carb, so it’s a great lunch!  Being that it is Christmas Eve today, this would also fit on the famous feast of 7 fishes that I know is a tradition of many Italian families.  On a side note, I would absolutely love to get invited to one of these dinners!

Most of us are used to the fried calamari that is on every appetizer Italian restaurant.  Good calamari can be tricky to make.  If you cook it too long, like any shellfish it can be all sorts of wrong.  Calamari can take on a rubbery tough texture and you have ruined some good seafood.

I start with a pound of calamari.  The easiest thing to do is buy a bag of frozen that is already cut.  It often contains the rings and the tentacles.  I happen to be a big fan of the tentacles even though they can look a little creepy.  Let it thaw in the fridge…or if you want it quick, throw it in a colander and run some cold water on it till it’s defrosted and pat it dry.


Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a pot and add minced garlic and red pepper flakes.  Once you smell the garlic, hit it with the white wine.


Add the crushed tomatoes and let everything meld together for about 10 minutes or so.  Taste your sauce and add some salt, pepper, italian seasoning…whatever you think it needs.


Add the calamari to the pot, give it is stir and cover the pot.  Give it 3 minutes and open and stir again.


I divide it among 3 travel cups and I have lunch for 3 days at school that warms me up as I shiver in my office.  I like to eat it along with a few parmesan crisps.   No guilt lunch.


Calamari Stew


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I tend to use Pino Grigio)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound calamari (squid), bodies thinly sliced and tentacles whole

Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a medium pot. Add the garlic and red pepper let cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the wine.  Add the tomato sauce, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow to cook for about 10 minutes . Add the calamari and stir to combine.  Cover the pot  and continue to cook until the mixture comes back up to a simmer, about 3 more minutes.   Makes about 3-4 servings.