Calamari a la Americane (Slow Braised Calamari)

Cook time 1 hour
Servings 4


1 kg calamari, cleaned and tentacles reserved and cut into 3x3cm squares
20g butter
1 tbs. olive oil
3 French shallots, finely chopped
30 ml cognac (or brandy)
¾ cup white wine
3 large ripe tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 tbs. cream
½ bunch parsley
Salt and pepper 

2 handfuls of fresh white breadcrumbs
¼ cup parmesan, finely grated
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped

Calamari a la Americane (Slow Braised Calamari)


On high heat, heat a large casserole pan. Add half the butter and a little of the olive oil. Add the calamari in 2 batches and cook for two minutes or until they change colour. Place a bowl under a strainer and pour calamari and its liquid into the strainer. 

Add the remaining butter and oil into the same pan and sauté the French shallot s until golden brown. Now return the calamari back to the pan. Add the cognac and flambé. Add the white wine and bring to the boil for 2 minutes. Finally add the tomato paste and tomatoes and season to taste.  Turn the heat down and cook for 45 minutes or until the calamari are soft.

Now pour in the cream and freshly chopped parsley and remove from the heat.

For the bread crumb mixture; combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan and garlic.

Turn the grill on. Portion the calamari mixture into separate earth ware dishes. Sprinkle on the breadcrumb mixture and place under the grill briefly until golden brown.