Calamari Cooked in Wine (Kalamarakia Krasata)

Last time we cooked kalamarakia, I insisted that the squid be cooked very quickly in very hot oil to keep it tender. It doesn’t take long for squid to become rubbery. But in today’s recipe we will cook the squid over a moderate flame and it will cook for quite a while. Don’t worry, this won’t turn into a jaw exerciser. Although squid does get tough quickly, it then softens up when cooked slowly for a long time, and that’s what we do in this recipe.

Ingredients for kalamarakia krasata.


1 pound squid, cleaned and cut into bite-size pieces
1 lb tomatoes, grated, or a 14.5 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped (about 1/2 to 1 cup after chopping)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Cooking Directions

Beginning to saute the squid, onions and garlic.
Heat the oil in a skillet or dutch oven, then saute the squid with the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil until the wine has mostly evaporated, about 10 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally.

After the wine has boiled off.

You’ll probably have some of the flavorful brown stuff known as “fond” coating the pan. Add the parsley, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Stir them in and scrape the bottom of the pan to mix the fond into the sauce.

Squid simmering with tomatoes.

Simmer until the squid is soft, about 20-30 minutes. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste, and serve.


  1. Comment by Peter

    Bravo…a very nice krassato dish. I don’t know why it doesn’t get tough after all this cooking but who cares…it’s loukoumi!

  2. Comment by lulu

    Hi Peter! Actually it DOES get tough. I taste as it goes along, so I can attest to that. But then it eventually starts softening up. I suppose I should do some food science research to understand why. It’s just that in-depth discussions of protein molecules leaves me…not hungry :-)

  3. Comment by Laurie Constantino

    Yep, you can cook squid for less than three minutes or for more than twenty minutes but nothing inbetween. It has to do with the proteins tightening up under heat, but then breaking down with longer cooking. Braised in wine sauce is a wonderful way to cook squid.

  4. Comment by Jame

    I had always been wary of squid , apart from chargrilling it for the ‘toughness’ reason. Now it makes sense – the same reason as slow scooking any meat really. I’ll try this as I have some squid on hand.

    Caramelised onions definitely in boulangere – if they’re not cooked first they end up to raw, and as you say, slimy. I leave the onions with a little olive oil in a big pan on the lowest heat for a hour – an hour and a half stirring every 5 minutes or so. The other trick is not to add too much stock to the potato so it’s watery – less is more. You can use left over gravy let down with a bit of water.

  5. Comment by lulu

    Thanks, Laurie, I figured it was a proteinish sort of thing, but chemistry was always my weakest science. Now that I’m so into cooking, I kind of regret that.

  6. Comment by lulu

    Hi James, thanks for visiting! And thanks for the onion info!

    James is responding to a question I asked him over on his lovely blog, The Cotswold Food Year:

  7. Comment by Kevin

    This sounds like a tasty way to use calamari!

    Kevin’s last blog post..Fried Calamari

  8. Comment by Lulu

    I’ll be interested to see what you come up with next, Kevin!

  9. Comment by Yuriy

    This is on eof the best calamery recipe I ever tried.Onion should be caramelised before first step for 1 hr in oven in closed iron cast pot. Then open cover and let onion become a brown.You will see the difference. Thank you for great recipe.

  10. Comment by Jean McKenna

    I love Calamari! Used to buy a fried ones in front of our school’s gate.

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