Calamari Capers
  |  First Published: May 2008

I remember the times that I have stood on a chilly winter’s night on a jetty somewhere, hardly able to move my arms because of all the clothes that I have on, all in the attempt to catch squid.

Success was usually rewarded by a squirt of ink to some part of my self or my daughter Kim, who was usually right there beside me. And you know what? We loved it, it was so much fun! Hmmm, now where are my warm gloves?

Calamari with Pasta

This is a quick and easy to prepare meal of pasta partnered with a delicious tomato calamari sauce. Top the pasta with shaved Parmesan or a generous serving of crunchy toasted breadcrumbs (recipe follows).

Ingredients for pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

440g tinned Italian style chopped tomatoes

Dash of red wine

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, finely grated

500g squid, cleaned and cut into rings

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped

Small handful of basil leaves, roughly torn

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped

1 packet spaghetti

Freshly ground salt and pepper


(1) In a large pan of boiling water, cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet. While the spaghetti is cooking, prepare the calamari sauce.

(2) Heat the oil in a deep frypan over a medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Stir-fry until the onion has softened and the garlic is aromatic. Pour the chopped tomatoes, red wine, thyme and oregano into the frypan with the onion mixture. Stir well to combine.

(3) Add the calamari rings to the tomato mixture in the pan, reduce the heat to low, cover the frypan and continue to cook until the calamari is tender. This should take about ten minutes or so. Add the torn basil leaves and the Italian parsley to the sauce, mix well and season to taste with freshly ground salt and pepper.

(4) Drain the pasta when it has finished cooking. Tip the pasta back into the pot in which you cooked it and add the calamari sauce. With a couple of large spoons, mix the pasta and the sauce together well.

(5) Serve, family style, with the pot of pasta with calamari in the middle of the table, accompanied by a bowl of yummy toasted breadcrumbs. Stand back and allow everyone to serve them-selves.

Toasted Breadcrumbs

I like to use the same herbs that I have used in the calamari sauce in the toasted breadcrumbs.

Ingredients for breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 cups fresh breadcrumbs

1 clove garlic, finely grated

1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped

1 sprig thyme leaves

6 or so basil leaves, roughly torn


(1) Heat the olive oil in a large frypan. Pop the garlic into the pan and stir-fry until the garlic is aromatic.

(2) Add the breadcrumbs and the herbs and continue to stir-fry until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Tip the toasted breadcrumbs into a bowl and serve as a topping with the pasta.

The seafood in this recipe was supplied by Princess Charlotte Seafoods ph. (07) 3256 9175.

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