Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bernadette's Stuffed Squid

My most memorable New Year's Eve was not spent partying in Las Vegas, or watching the ball drop in Time Square.  My most memorable New Year's Eve was spent in a home in the suburbs of Southern California eating these.  I was 16 and spent the evening at my best friend's house sharing their family tradition of having a seafood feast.  It was amazing and these little guys were burned into my memory forever.
I finally got the recipe from her a few years ago, and a few days ago got the permission to post it.  Thank you, Bernadette!

You want to use baby squid for this recipe and Bernadette's directions are to NOT use garlic, oregano, thyme, or rosemary in the sauce.  However, there is some garlic powder and Italian seasonings in the stuffing.  The first time I saw my friend Vanessa make the stuffing, she tore up the bread by hand.  I just used my handy dandy food processor and gave it a little whirl.  Also there are no specific measurements for the olive oil, water, or herbs.  All I can tell you is that I added the olive oil in tablespoon increments and I ended up using about 3 tablespoons all together.  I also used about 1 tablespoon of water.  For the herbs in the stuffing, the instructions are to sprinkle the basil until it covers the top of the stuffing (I used about a teaspoon), and easy on the garlic.  I used a pinch each of the other herbs and garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp of onion salt.  I won't list that in the final recipe though because those aren't her instructions, just my own approximations.  Stuffing the squid will take a little practice because they are quite small.  I used my iced tea spoon (which has a small head) and my finger.  Just don't overfill because they will burst in the sauce. 

Stuffed Squid
recipe courtesy of Bernadette G.

Squid Sauce:
1 can tomato sauce
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1/2 onion, diced
Basil (to taste)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Pinch of sugar for acidity

  • Saute onion in olive oil
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer on low for 1 hour


1/2 loaf of bread
Parmesan cheese (She listed 1/2 cup?, but I used about 3/4 cups)
Basil (sprinkle til it covers top)
Garlic powder
Onion salt
Olive oil

  • Mix all ingredients to taste (use more Basil, light on the garlic)
  • Mositen mix with water and olive oil so it mushes together (Even if it looks dry, try squeezing a small amount with your fingers, if it clumps together, it's probably moist enough)


Baby squid (she doesn't list an amount, but I used approx 3 pounds)

  • Clean squid.  Rip out heads and ink pouches,  rub and peel off the purple skin until you see the white skin.  Take ball out of tenticles, remove everything out of the body cavity and rinse inside and out.  Wash all iodine away and flush cavity with water.
  • Stuff body cavity with stuffing making sure not to overfill because it will burst.  Close the tops with toothpicks.
  • Cook squid in the sauce for up to 45 minutes but not any longer because the squid with get tough. (Mine was done after 25 minutes)

What the squid looks like before and after cleaning
 The stuffing. See how it clumps together when you press it
After you stuff it, secure it with a toothpick

Nestle them together in the sauce


  1. Hello, I am so glad the squid recipe is a hit with someone! Usually people hear "squid" and the instant response is "ick". I am happy to broaden the taste buds of America.

    I too remember that New Years Eve in California and the most memorable moments for me was sharing it with you and my daughter....
    Luv Ya
    Bernadette G.

  2. Bernadette, I don't know a single person who has tried your food and thought anything but Mmmmmm. You are an amazing woman and I am so happy that you will be moving closer to Vanessa! Now if I could only relocate the both of you back to California....

  3. Darthfoofie,

  4. I ate a stuffed squid recipe at a restaurant outside of Solvang. It was stuffed with pancetta and smoked mozzarella. When I tried to duplicate the dish the squid was tough.

    After reading your post I think a slow braise is in order instead of a quick sautee.

    This is bookmarked and will be cooked soon.

  5. climbhighak, pancetta and smoked mozzarella stuffed squid sounds amazing! And I LOVE Solvang....LOVE! Let me know how the recipe turns out:)

  6. This sounds so delicious!!

  7. stuff squid in tomato sauce is one of our traditional Christmas eve dishes. It just wouldn't be the same without it. We use raisins and pine nuts, but no cheese, in the stuffing.

  8. Looks tasty. I must admit that I've never eaten squid in tomato sauce. Usually I use crab meat, shrimp and cheese for stuffing.


Related Posts with Thumbnails