Calamari Stew
with Olives and Capers

This calamari stew with olives and capers is prepared in a mediterranean style and is a great accompaniment to spaghetti or your favorite kind of pasta. The calamari are sauted and 

Mediterranean Calamari with olives and capers in a tomato sauceMediterranean Calamari with olives and capers in a tomato sauce

then together with the other savory ingredients gently cooked in tomatoes which results in a tasty and complex mouth watering gravy. I used whole squids fresh from the fish market, which needed a little more time to be washed and cleaned and be separated into the tubes and tentacles. I gave the heads to my dog Oyster who couldn't get enough of them. If you want to avoid the cleaning and chopping you can use commercially available cleaned and pre packed calamari rings as well.

Preparation time: 15 to 30 minutes 
Cooking time: 60 minutes
Resting time: 0 minutes
Total time needed: at least 1 H 15 minutes
Grade of Difficulty: standard

Calamari Stew
with Olives and Capers

  • 700 gram baby squid, cut into 1 cm / 2/5th of an inch tubes and tentacles
  • 3 tbs. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped fine, (optional, use 2 medium onions instead)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped, (optional, use more or less according to your taste)
  • 1 tbs. of capers
  • 100 gram / 3.5 oz purple or black olives, pitted
  • 400 gram / 14 oz can of peeled tomatoes
  • 3 tbs. tomato paste
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves, (optional, use 2 tsp. dried thyme leaves instead
  • 1 tbs. dried origanum leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 handful of freshly chopped spinach 
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika powder
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne chilli powder, or cayenne pepper, (optional, or to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Turn stove onto medium, add oil to a large skillet
  • Once oil is beginning to get hot add onions and garlic, cover with lid and saute them for about 5 minutes or till they begin to change color and are turning soft, stirring a few times
  • Add calamari, cover with lid and saute for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently
  • Now add bay leaf, tomato mark, and braise all briefly
  • Add peeled tomatoes and all spices except the origanum, stir, cover with lid, reduce the heat to low and gently simmer the stew for 20 to 25 minutes. (TAKE NOTE: Olives are often quite salty themselves so only use little salt initially to avoid the stew to become to salty once you added the olives)
  • Add capers and olives, cover with lid and simmer for another 10 minutes
  • Switch of the heat, add spinach and origanum, stir stew,add more salt and / or pepper if needed, cover again with lid

Serve calamari stew hot with pasta or a fresh bread of your choice.

Easy Garlic pasta

Easy Chowder / Fish Soup

Cape Style Pickled Fish

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Growing and using your own olives for your cooking recipes

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