Calamari in Red Wine and Tomato Sauce

Calamari in Red Wine and Tomato Sauce


"Italian Christmas eve favorite - use your favorite spaghetti or tomato sauce as the base. This recipe can be doubled or tripled easily. Serve as a side, appetizer, or over pasta. Buon Natale!"

Ingredients {{adjustedServings}} servings 257 cals

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Original recipe yields 6 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 257 kcal
  • 13%
  • Fat:
  • 6.5 g
  • 10%
  • Carbs:
  • 15.5g
  • 5%
  • Protein:
  • 28.1 g
  • 56%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 359 mg
  • 120%
  • Sodium:
  • 1004 mg
  • 40%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  1. Separate the tentacles from the long body of the calamari, if not done already. Slice the body, or calamari tubes into rings about 1/2 to 2/3 inch thick, set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, combine tomato sauce, red wine, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, basil, and cheese. Simmer on medium low for about 30 minutes to give the alcohol in the wine time to evaporate, and all the flavors time to blend.
  3. Add the calamari to the sauce. Continue to slowly simmer for about another 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Calamari is done when it is plump and more opaque. Do not cook on higher heat or for a longer period, as calamari is famous for becoming rubbery.
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Reviews 36

  1. 49 Ratings

Caroline C

"Add the calamari to the sauce. Continue to slowly simmer for about another 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally" - seriously?? I added in the squid, and it was maybe 8 minutes for it to be done (about as long as it took for the calamari to take on the color of the sauce, and to plump up). The only other changes I made were to add a can of diced tomatoes, and I used Burgandy. This was a really nice meal, but I would never ever simmer any kind of seafood for 30 minutes.


Thought this was very good & spicy. For a quicker version, I passed on using fresh calamari, frozen worked just fine...took less time.


This was good. Anoter reviewer suggested this was easy. IT IS NOT!! Cleaning 2 lbs of squid takes a minimum of 45 minutes and that is if you know what you are doing. DO NOT USE FRESH SQUID LIKE I DID. It is too tender and turns mushy when cooked, not rubbery like frozen does. The sauce was tasty and I will make again but will add ground meat (or better yet, razor clams). If anyone cares here is how you clean squid. First you pull all the heads off, then you cut off the tentacles off above the eyes. Discard the lower portion of the head. Turn the tentacles inside out and cut off the round bulb center. Rinse and Drain. For the body of the squid, pull out all the back bones. Remove the black skin surface. Cut squid into round pieces. Turn each piece inside out and remove any yuck stuff on the inside under running water, drain. Now instead of putting them in this recipe dredge in a mixture of rice flour and pepper, deep fry in hot oil just seconds (till they float, less than a minute). Drain on paper towel. Make a mixture of low call mayo and sliced peperoncini and dip the squid in till your hearts content. (or a good cocktail sauce)