Seppie in Umido

Spiced Squid Casserole


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

A typical Venetian dish, this deliciously spicy squid casserole makes full use of the traditional spices in the region, so is truly representative of Venice’s centuries-long history as a major spice-trading port. Traditionally, the casserole would be generously spooned over a helping of hot, soft white polenta, but it could also be served with a portion of equally sustaining rice or mashed potatoes, if you prefer.


  • 60 ml/4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig, leaves finely chopped
  • 1 kg/ lb squid, cleaned and sliced
  • 225 g/8 oz can tomatoes, seeds removed, chopped
  • 5 ml/1 tsp tomato paste
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • polenta, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add the onion and garlic, and fry for 5 minutes, until softened but not browned.
  2. Add the rosemary, then the squid, and mix. Pour over 500 ml/17 fl oz/ cups water. Bring to the boil. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper and spices. Cover and simmer slowly for a further 45 minutes, or until the squid is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  4. Serve the casserole hot over portions of soft polenta, if you like.