Stuffed Calamari with Peas and Sundried Tomatoes

Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
30 min
Inactive Prep:
1 hr
4 servings


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped in 1/4 inch dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
  • Salt
  • 1 pound fresh peas, shelled to yield 3/4 cup
  • 8 large whole calamari, about 1/2 pound
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked 1/2 hour in warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
    • Directions

      Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

      Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Set up an ice bath nearby. Add the peas and blanch them for 30 seconds, then drain and immediately plunge into the ice bath. Once cooled, drain and set aside.

      Clean the calamari. Remove the tentacles, finely chop them, and set aside. Remove insides, being careful not to cut the stomach.

      In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the oil until smoking. Add the calamari tentacle pieces and cook until opaque. Add the peas, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes and stir through, about 1 minute. Add bread crumbs and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper and add parsley. Allow mixture to cool.

      Stuff bread mixture into each calamari until full and place in a 12 by 8-inch earthenware dish (just large enough to hold calamari and sauce). Add wine and tomato sauce and stir to settle. Bake for 35 minutes, then remove, and serve.

      In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot, and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds one week in the refrigerator or up to six months in the freezer.

      Yield: 4 cups