Calamari with Olives and Mint, Adriatic-Style



4 servings



1 lb. fresh calamari, squid, or
3 fl. oz. virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce (see recipe elsewhere)
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup sm. black olives, such as nicoise
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


To clean the calamari, wash and drain completely. Pull the tentacles from each squid holding the sac part in one hand and the tentacles in the other. The tentacles will remain attached to the inside flesh of the sac. Cut the tentacles off just above the eyes. Throw everything away from the eyes down. Remove the hard beak part by squeezing the base of the tentacles and set the tentacles aside. Leave the tentacles whole. Remove the quill bone from the sac and any remaining innards and discard.

Peel off the reddish skin from the outside of the sac and rinse the inside and outside of sac under running water. Cut sacs into 1/4-inch rounds. In a 12- to 14-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté garlic until lightly browned, approximately 1 minute. Add crushed red pepper and Basic Tomato Sauce, the cleaned calamari, mint leaves and black olives.

Lower the heat and simmer for 7 to 9 minutes, until the calamari has turned opaque and yet is still tender. Season with salt and pepper. It may need more seasoning than you think. Pour into a heated serving dish and serve immediately.

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