Squid Pasta ( Penne and Calamari)

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Simple, delicious, and fulfilling Mediterranean penne and calamari (squid pasta). One of my favorite dishes for lazy dinners. 

This is a great recipe to reheat at work and you can even make a big batch that will feed a lot of people or it can be used as a cook one time and eat two. 

Here in Portugal, this squid pasta recipe is a quite popular dish and for all the good reasons. 

You only need a few ingredients that you may have in your pantry already: pasta (penne preferably), garlic, olive oil, white wine, oregano, basil, and a can of Pomodoro tomatoes. 

I must say I prefer to use Pomodoro or San Marzano tomatoes for my pasta sauces. They are juicy they tend to thicken quite well. 

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Frozen or fresh squid? 

To be completely honest I like frozen seafood. And before you judge me, I must say I don’t use any type of frozen seafood. I found a couple of brands here in my country that have high-quality products that are frozen as soon as they are out of water. So they remain pretty fresh. 

The thing is, I appreciate the convenience and saving time in the kitchen. 

Also, octopus and squid are quite tough meats. And freezing them can help to make the meat a bit more tender. I don’t recommend it with shrimps because they are soft and they cook quite quickly. 

But you can totally buy fresh and have them clean. It’s important that they are clean, without skin. You can use the tiny tentacles but they tend to be harder. This is completely up to ypur personal preference. 

I like the tentacles but I cut them into bite-size pieces to make them easier to eat. 

Also, you can use baby squid if you like.

How to make the tomato sauce? 

Easy peasy. 

This is garlic, olive oil, and tomato sauce. I add a sprinkle of my two favorite herbs for sauces: oregano and basil. Salt and pepper to taste and voila! Done

The main flavor of this sauce is the squid. So in the beginning, I sauteed them with olive oil and crushed garlic. 

I smash the garlic cloves roughly with my knife just to release the flavor. I let the garlic cook with the squids and after a couple of minutes, I remove the garlic before adding the white wine. 

It’s important to let the wine evaporate the alcohol, this will take about 3- 5 minutes. 

Then it’s time to add the tomato, herbs, and seasoning. Finally, let it simmer until you get a thick sauce. 

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Squid Pasta

Easy calamari pasta with tomato sauce.

Servings: 4 people
  • 350 gr penne
  • 400 gr/ 14 oz Cleaned squid
  • ¼ cup White wine (note 1)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 can Pomodoro tomato crushed
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • 1 handful of chopped parsley (optional but highly recommended)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cut the squid’s body into rings and the tentacles into bite-size pieces.
  2. In a big pan heat the olive oil. Add the squid and the garlic cloves crushed.
  3. Cook for 3-4 minutes and reduce the heat to medium.
  4. Remove the garlic cloves and pour the wine. Reduce for 3-4 minutes to let the alcohol evaporate.
  5. Add the crushed tomato, oregano, basil, salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer for 5 minutes until you get a thick sauce.
  6. Cooks the pasta according to its package instructions.
  7. Mix the sauce with the pasta, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
Recipe Notes
  1. If you don’t have white wine you can substitute it with chicken or vegetable stock.

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