Black Sauce

by the Editors

A recipe from Aunt Angie


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • Dash of Italian spice medley (or your own mixture of oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary)
  • Ink from 3 squid ink sacs
  • Sauteed squid
  • 1 whole, peeled raw carrot
Black Sauce

Elizabeth Cecil

Black sauce over pasta.

The whole carrot is unexpected but lends subtle sweetness to the sauce. Just take it out before serving.

To sauté squid: The key to sautéing squid is: hot, short, and sweet. Get it in the pan and out again or it’ll turn into the texture of rubber bands. Cut the clean squid tubes into rings, tentacles into small to medium-sized chop. Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a sauté pan until glistening hot but not smoking. Add squid. Shake pan or move pieces in pan to evenly cook. Lightly salt. Remove from pan within the minute. Set aside, saving any pan juices.

For the sauce: Heat oil in a pan. Simmer the garlic and onion. Add tomato paste. Sauté the paste with the garlic and onions. Add the tomato sauce. Cook until it reheats again. Add a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes and one cup water. Add a dash of Italian medley. “Not too much, just shake it once.” Says Angie. Add the whole peeled, raw carrot for sweetening, let sauce simmer, and take the carrot out at the end. Add the ink, and the sautéed squid pieces and their juice from the sauté pan. Serve over one package of cooked pasta of your choice.

Serves: 4 to 6 people.