Spaghetti with Squid in Tomato Wine Sauce

Inexpensive and easy to prepare, squid deserves a place in your weeknight repertoire. Here, it's gently simmered in a garlicky red-wine tomato sauce and then tossed with pasta for a meal that's quick to put together. Slideshow:  Seafood Pastas 

Spaghetti with Squid in Tomato Wine Sauce
Photo: © Erin Alderson


  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/3 cup red wine

  • 1 3/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 pound cleaned squid, bodies cut into 1/2-inch rings, tentacles cut in half

  • 1/2 pound spaghetti

  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer 1 minute longer. Stir in the tomatoes and salt and bring to a simmer. Add the squid, cover, and simmer gently until the squid is just tender, about 30 minutes. Do not allow to boil.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until almost done, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta.

  3. Add the basil and the spaghetti to the sauce and simmer until the pasta is done and has absorbed some of the sauce, about 2 minutes.


Fish Alternatives You can substitute medium shelled shrimp for the squid. Cook the tomato sauce, covered, for about twenty minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until just done, about three minutes longer. Test-Kitchen Tip Squid must be braised slowly over low heat or cooked briefly over high heat. Anything in between makes rubber bands.

Suggested Pairing

Given squid's mild flavor, the tomato sauce really dictates which wine to serve with this dish. Accordingly, a light-bodied, acidic red wine such as a young, slightly chilled Chianti will work just fine.

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