Stuffed Squid

by David Leite

Ingredients

  • For the squid: 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1-1/4 inch-thick slice of presunto, Serrano ham, or prosciutto, trimmed of excess fat and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 32 4-to-5-inch squid (about 3 pounds) cleaned (have the fishmonger do this), tentacles minced
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • For the sauce: 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. double-concentrate tomato paste
  • 1 28-oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzono, seeded and chopped, with their juice
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 Turkish bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

To make the stuffing, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Dump in the presunto and garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the squid tentacles and cook until any excess liquid evaporates, 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the egg and the yolk. Return to very low heat and cook, stirring continually, until the mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley, and season with salt and pepper if needed. Set the stuffing aside.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and crank up the heat to 350ºF.


To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes and their juice, wine, and bay leaf, and set sauce aside.

Fill a small plastic freezer bag with the stuffing, seal the bag, and snip off one corner. Stuff each squid body a scant two-thirds full. Loosely skewer each one with a toothpick and lay the squid in a single layer in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour the sauce over the top and bake until the sauce is bubbly and the squid is tender, about 40 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6 as a main course, 6 to 8 as a starter.


Variation: Grilled Stuffed Squid

Skip the sauce. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. Lightly brush the stuffed squid with olive oil and grill them until the filling firms up and is cooked through and the squid are lined with grill marks, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Sprinkle with minced fresh parsley or cilantro, spritz them with lemon juice, and drizzle with Smoked Paprika Oil, if you wish.

Serves 4 - 6 as a main course, 6 - 8 as a starter.


Published with permission from The New Portuguese Table by David Leite © 2009. Published by Clarkson Potter.