Clean the squid and slice into strips. Heat the oil, add the garlic and squid and cook briskly for a few moments.
Pour in the white wine, then stir in the tomato purée and the water. Allow this to cook for about 10 minutes before adding the potatoes and the seasoning. Cook gently until the potatoes are soft – this should take about 20 minutes or so. The squid should retain a slight rubbery quality.
Sprinkle with fresh herbs before eating.
Austen, around 1770, advised a tenant’s wife in Hampshire to plant potatoes in her garden, she was told, ‘No, no, they are all very well for you gentry, but they must be terribly costly to rear.’
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