When I visited our local fish shop this week and saw fresh squid my mind took me straight back to a delicious stuffed squid dish that we enjoyed in Turin, Italy last year!

The version I had in Turin had spinach and ricotta filling which was ideal for a starter.

I created a different stuffing as I didn’t have enough spinach in the garden. But I am so happy with my version, it was one of those evenings when Mark said, you had better put this one on your blog! That’s a good endorsement!

The recipe has 3 components:

the squid; the filling and a tomato sauce

The squid: The fishmonger cleaned the squid for me. Make sure that the tentacles and ‘wings’ are included as they become part of the filling.

One squid was plenty for dinner for two. If you can find smaller squid they will do well as individual starters.

The filling:

My version for a week-night supper has rice based filling. I like rice or grain based fillings as they are lighter and healthier than bread based ones. My favourite is a mix of brown wild rice. I buy the rice mix that has either lentils or dried peas added.

The recipe adds more ingredients, including the chopped squid tentacles and wings for extra flavour.

Tomato sauce:

The squid is cooked in a tomato sauce. For this I make a very easy basic foolproof tomato sauce. It has 4 ingredients: oil, tomatoes (fresh, tetra pack or tinned), white onions and salt. The sauce takes time to cook, but can easily do while the rice is cooking. Quick tomato sauce recipe here.

Recipe for stuffed squid

Preparation time

Don’t be intimidated by the preparation time, which takes over an hour. If you plan well you can save on time on future cooking. As I needed rice for the following evening I cooked plenty. When I cook the tomato sauce, I always cook double the amount required as I know it will form a basis for another dish within a few days or it freezes beautifully.

The filled squid is simmered or oven baked in the tomato sauce. The joy of this recipe is that you can do it all on the stove top if you are reluctant to heat the oven.

The total cooking time is about 70 minutes. (40 minutes to prepare and cook the rice and tomato sauces and 30 minutes to cook the squid)