About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Fried Calamari | Main | Squid with Potatoes, Genoa Style »

Squid with Tomatoes and Peas


Slimy . . . jiggly . . .

Squid, squid, squid.

How I loathe thee, squid. . .

Now in my life I am known for absolutes. The truth is that while I may talk as if I live in a world of black and white, the reality is that there is a HUGE amount of nuanced grey behind the scenes.

Nuances or not, there are still some wee absolutes that shall not be changed. I won't wear white pants after Labour Day. I won't vote Conservative. I won't be seen in sandals with socks. I will never sport a tattoo. I will not drink bad wine. I will not allow margarine into the household. I will not use cheap olive oil. There will NEVER be a green can of 'cheese product' in my cupboard.

I used to say I'd never cook squid until Deborah (and Marcella in a round about way) made me.

Sigh, another of my lovely absolutes that I had held near and dear to my heart tossed on the trash heap of life.

When I was making the menu for the week I offered Paul the choice of upcoming Pomodori recipes - he responded with 'let's get the damn squid over with.'

Hardly a rousing endorsement.

On Sunday, while steeling up the courage to cook my squids, I called mom to invite her over for a squid feast. When she heard the menu . . . she declined the invitation.

This is a first of historic proportions.

I reminded her of liver nights as a child and the abuse that had been inflicted upon my sister and myself by her disgusting liver recipes (which I invariably tossed to the dog under my dad's watchful and jealous eye - he wisely knew that such behaviour would never be allowed for HIM). Reminded of this horror, she grudgingly relented and came over.

You might ask 'what has the poor squid ever done to Jerry?'

The answer is nothing. Squid doesn't taste horrible - in fact, I actually enjoy the taste. I think it is the texture. Well, I didn't enjoy cleaning the things either, truth be told. I LOATH the tentacles. Those suction cups that threaten to grab and tug at my throat as they slide down. Perhaps it is just an overactive imagination and meds are in order???

Marcella points out that there are really two ways to cook squid - fast and hot as in fried calamari - which I love - yes, I really do (remember that world of grey I admit to actually residing in . . .), or long and slow - which is the technique used in this recipe.

To make this classic Tuscan dish (over dinner mom argued that Tuscany had no coastline and therefore there was nothing classic about this. We rose to Marcella's defense . . . reminding her of a wee place called Livorno - a city she insisted we had made up . . . Paul had to get our driving atlas of Italy to prove her wrong . . . see the fun we have at the DeQuetteville/Blonski dinner table? 'Tis an invitation to covet!)

Hmmm - I have meandered on a wee digression here.

Anyway. Classic Tuscan dish. Marcella = A +, Edith = sent back to Italian geography for dummies.

One cleans the squid. Eeewww - enough said. Even the cats were offended.


I lay down for an hour to recover.

Imagine what I would have needed had I even touched the things instead of making Paul do it all?

Fortified by a glass of vino and a beer, I commenced cooking. Onion and garlic is sautéed in olive oil. Parsley. Tomatoes. This cooks and forms a simple sauce.

This wasn't so bad after all.

We then dumped in the cleaned squid that had been cut into rings by Paolo (don't forget those tentacles) and cooked it over a low heat for 35 - 40 minutes. After a light sprinkle of salt and pepper we were ready for the peas. I had some fresh ones purchased at the market so I shelled 2 pounds of those beautiful pods and added them to the 'stew'.

Twenty minutes later we were ready to eat. Paul moaned that ALL of the tentacles were on his plate. Mom, having eaten a few bites said 'no leftovers for me tonight'. Paul and I cleaned off our plates and used the loaf of crusty bread to sop up all of the juices. This was tasty.

It really was.

See. Another absolute shot all to heck.

Thanks for your help with this Marcella!

Comments (8)

Ray Anne:

Ah, Jerry. I do love reading your days on the blog. Grazie.

Jerry, your writing is absolutely hysterical! I may even try this recipe after reading your post!

Marcella Hazan:

Squid slimy? Slick perhaps when raw, slimy no. Do you eat raw oysters?

Do you ever travel to the tropics in the winter? White ducks are de rigueur and absolutely no socks.

I am glad you sop up cooking juices with good bread. It is tastier than everything else on the plate.

LOL - you're right, of course. Slimy is a poor word to describe squid. I never eat oysters (which is why Palma had all of the oyster recipes).

The cooking juices were delicious (although not as amazing as the veal stew with mushrooms we had tonight - you really wrote an amazing recipe there!)

Jerry, my dear! Thank you for the wonderful read tonight. I truly think that when all is said and done, we are all going to look back on this project with a little extra fondness for our friend the squid!

Entertaining post as always Jerry!

I am beginning to think I must be a very strange person, because I love squid, don't mind cleaning it, adore whole fish and I don't mind cleaning them either.

Great job!


Good for you, Jerry!
I love squid; and I also love my fish guy who will clean them for me and only charge an additional buck a pound.
Humn, this recipe may go on the rotation this week. Looks great!


I love squid--growing up in Florida we used it a lot as bait, too. Anyway, great post, Jerry.
I'm glad you told the whole story.


I'm in the squid's camp too - though it took a while for me to get there (and I don't do tentacles). Reminds me though, must go order squab!

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The previous post in this blog was Fried Calamari.

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