Sous Vide Calamari Fra Diavolo


Kate is a freelance food writer and editor living in Berkeley, CA. Before moving to the Bay Area, Kate spent two years working as a test cook at America’s Test Kitchen, and has contributed to Serious Eats, The Oxford American, KQED and The Hypocrite Reader, among othe ...

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Recipe Temp 139 F / 59.4 C
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Squid can be tricky to cook properly on the stove top — it needs to barely touch the heat, or braise for many, many hours to transform from rubbery to tender. Cooking it sous vide (mostly) eliminates this problem. Seal it with a hefty pour of olive oil, give it a couple of hours, and the squid emerges tender and perfumed. Be careful, though: unlike other proteins, squid will start to disintegrate if it sits too long in the water bath. I’d recommend checking on it every hour to be sure. I like to toss my squid in a spicy tomato sauce, ala calamari fra diavolo. It’s tasty served as an appetizer with crusty bread, or tossed with pasta for a hearty main.
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Ingredients for 4

  • 1 pound squid, cleaned

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or other chile powder

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 9 cloves garlic, 4 cloves smashed and 5 cloves minced

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 5 sprigs thyme, leaves minced

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus extra for serving

  • 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, crushed

  • Ice for ice bath

  • Bread or pasta, for serving

  • Chopped parsley, for serving


  • Step 1

    Set the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 139ºF (59ºC).

  • Step 2

    Prepare the squid by separating the tentacles from the bodies. Slice the bodies into 1-inch thick rings. Transfer the bodies and the tentacles to a medium bowl and season with cayenne, salt, and pepper.

  • Step 3

    Combine seasoned squid with olive oil and crushed garlic cloves in a large zipper lock bag. Seal the bag using the water immersion technique.

  • Step 4

    Place the squid in the water bath and set the timer for 1 hour. When the timer goes off, check on the squid. If it is tender, remove the bag from the water bath. If the shrimp is still rubbery, re-seal the bag, return it to the water bath, and set the timer for 1 additional hour.

  • Step 5

    About 20 minutes before the timer goes off, prepare the sauce: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and stir to emulsify the butter. Simmer the tomato sauce until slightly thickened, 7 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Set aside until the squid is ready.

  • Step 6

    A few minutes before the timer goes off, prepare an ice bath by filling a medium bowl with ice. Add water until the ice moves freely.

    • Finishing Steps

    • Step 1

      When the timer goes off, remove the bag from the water bath and immediately place in the ice bath. Let chill for 2 to 3 minutes.

    • Step 2

      Remove the squid from the bag and save the cooking liquid.

    • Step 3

      Return the tomato sauce to medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the squid and toss until warmed. Add a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid, to taste.

    • Step 4

      Serve with crusty bread or tossed with cooked pasta, sprinkled with red pepper flakes and chopped parsley.

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139 F / 59.4 C Recipe Temp
Recipe Time
Prep Time