Recipes Main Courses Pasta Rice and Grains Linguine with Spicy Calamari

Linguine with Spicy Calamari

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

The secret to a good calamari dish is simple: the seafood must be very fresh and it must be cooked quickly to remain tender. Purchasing squid that has already been cleaned will save you a lot of preparation time, making this a dish a quick option for nights when you’re craving a light pasta dish.


  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary, or 1/2 tsp. crumbled dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./185 g) tomato paste
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) dry red wine
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) bottled clam juice
  • 1 lb. (500 g) cleaned small squid, cut into rings and tentacles
  • 1 lb. (500 g) linguine
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley


In a fry pan large enough to accommodate the pasta later, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, garlic, rosemary and red pepper flakes and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the shallots and garlic are softened but not colored, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir for about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 tsp. salt and the wine and simmer until most of the wine has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the clam juice and continue to simmer until thickened and aromatic, about 20 minutes.

Add the squid and cook gently until tender, no more than 5 minutes. If the sauce becomes thin after cooking the squid, remove the squid with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Cook the sauce over gentle heat until it once again thickens, then return the squid to the pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

In a large pot, bring 5 quarts (5 l) water to a rapid boil. Check the package directions for the cooking time, then add 2 Tbs. salt and the pasta to the boiling water, stir well and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is 1 minute shy of being al dente.

Drain the pasta, add to the sauce in the pan and place the pan over low heat. Add the parsley and toss the pasta and sauce together for about 1 minute. Some of the sauce will be absorbed by the pasta, but plenty will remain, keeping the pasta moist.Transfer to a warmed large, shallow serving bowl or individual shallow bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Pasta Night, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2014)