Squid and Potatoes, Genoa Style

For 6 servings


  • 3 pounds small to medium whole squid OR 2½ pounds cleaned squid, sliced into rings
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1½ tablespoons chopped parsley
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram or oregano OR ¼ teaspoon dried
  • 1¼ pounds boiling potatoes
  • Salt Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill


1. If cleaning the squid yourself, follow these directions. Slice the sac into rings a little less than ½ inch wide, and separate the cluster of tentacles into two parts. Whether cleaning it yourself or using it already cleaned, wash all parts in cold water and pat thoroughly dry with cloth or paper towels.

2. Put the oil, garlic, and parsley in a saute pan, turn the heat on to high, and cook the garlic until it becomes colored a light nut brown. Put in all the squid. Use a long-handled fork to turn the squid, looking out for any that may pop, spraying drops of hot oil; do not hunch over the pan.

3. When the squid turns a dull, flat white, add the wine, and let it bubble away for about 2 minutes. Add the cut-up tomatoes with their juice, the marjoram or oregano, and stir thoroughly. Cover the pan and adjust the heat to cook at a slow simmer.

4. While the squid is cooking, peel the potatoes and cut them up into irregular pieces about 1½ inches thick. When the squid has cooked for about 45 minutes and is tender, add salt, the potatoes, and several grindings of pepper, stir thoroughly to coat well, and cover the pan again. Cook, always at a slow simmer, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and correct for salt and pepper and serve promptly.

Note Marjoram is what a Genoese cook would use and it should be your first choice if you prefer a lighter fragrance. With oregano, the dish assumes an emphatically accented style that can be rather enjoyable.


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