You can buy frozen, cleaned squid in the freezer section of many grocery stores. Defrost by placing in refrigerator overnight, or in a bowl of ice water. This recipe does call for an anise-flavored liquor, which you can leave out if you want, but the dish will be better with it in.
- 2 pounds cleaned calamari (squid), tubes sliced into rings and tentacles roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sliced onion
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup Sambuca or other anise-flavored liquor
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup fennel fronds, chopped
1 Sauté onions, fennel, garlic: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and fennel. Stir to coat with oil and sauté, stirring occasionally, until it begins to color, about 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle some salt over it.
Add the garlic cloves and tomato paste and stir well to combine. Cook this for another 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice.
2 Add the red wine, stir well, and increase the heat to high. Boil until the liquid is reduced by half.
3 Add the Sambuca or other anise-flavored liquor, and the crushed tomatoes.
4 Stir in the calamari and bring the pot to a gentle simmer. Simmer for at least 1 hour. After an hour, taste a piece of calamari; It should be tender. If it’s not, keep simmering. Check for tenderness every 15 minutes afterward.
5 Season to taste with salt and pepper: Once the calamari is tender, taste the stew for salt and pepper, adding if needed. Add the chopped parsley and fennel fronds. Stir well to combine and serve.