Seppie in Umido

Squid Casserole with Spices

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Italian Cooking

Classic Italian Cooking

By Valentina Harris

Published 2008

  • About

Add some new potatoes or slices of old potatoes to the stew for the last 30 minutes of cooking to add bulk and make the dish more substantial. In Venice, it would be served with polenta. I first discovered this dish when making my original television series in Britain in 1989. Over the years I have gradually adapted it and made it my own, but it is still a great favorite and a happy way to remember those heady days!


  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig, leaves removed and chopped fine
  • lb squid, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 cups cold water
  • cups canned tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • a pinch of ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • a pinch of ground ginger
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the sunflower oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and fry until soft and blond. Add the rosemary, then the squid. Mix together and cover with the cold water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and all three of the spices.
  4. Cover and simmer slowly for an additional 45 minutes, or until the squid is tender and the sauce has thickened. Serve hot or at room temperature.