Video: Learn how to prepare a classic with our recipe for calamari in its ink

If one had to draw up a list of the star dishes of Basque cuisine, forgetting the squid in its ink would be considered a mortal sin of Somorrostro in Hondarribia. The black coal sauce in which these little squids swim, rich in onion, green pepper and tomato, is one of the most particular of Spanish gastronomy, and whoever is frightened by its darkness does not know what they are missing.

The txipis They have a reputation for being laborious, but if you have them cleaned at the fishmonger, they require little more effort than a little patience. Our recipe is attached to classicism, with a few little twists to intensify the pleasure: we add onion to the thighs in the filling, we brown the bodies of the squid before adding them to the sauce, and we finish with a dash of chocolate (a cutting-edge trick that, of course, for some reason my mom and aunt Mari did in the year of the polka).


for 4 people

  • About 20 medium-sized squid with their own tentacles and fins, intestines, feathers, eyes and beak
  • 150g of tomato sauce
  • 4 large onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 green pepper
  • 100ml fish stock or water
  • 150ml of txakoli or dry white wine
  • 100ml cognac
  • 2 envelopes of squid ink
  • 1 small piece of dark chocolate (about 10 g)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Chop an onion and a half. Fry it in a large pot over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally.
  2. While cooking, chop the rest of the onion, garlic and pepper.
  3. Chop the tentacles and fins of the squid and add them to the onion in the casserole. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the water is gone from the tentacles and the onion is tender.
  4. Remove the tentacles, fins and onion to a deep plate and let them cool a bit.
  5. Put the onions, peppers and garlic in the casserole with a little more oil and a pinch of salt, and let them cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
  6. Fill the calamari with the tentacles, fins and their onion.
  7. Heat a large skillet over high heat. When very hot, brown the squid in batches, half a minute on each side, without stirring them too much, and gradually remove them to a deep plate.
  8. Deglaze the pan by adding a good dash of cognac and scraping the bottom a little with a spatula or a wooden spoon. Add liquid to onion and pepper.
  9. Add wine to these vegetables. When there is no longer any smell of alcohol, add the fried tomato and sauté for a few minutes.
  10. Moisten with fish stock or water and ink, stir and cook gently for another 15 minutes.
  11. Mix the sauce in the potato mill or blender and put it back in the casserole with the cuttlefish and the liquid they released. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes until very tender.
  12. Rectify the pinch of salt and serve with white rice or fried or toasted bread.

If you make this recipe, share the result on your social networks with the hashtag #RecipesComidista. And if it goes wrong, file a complaint with the Defender of the Cook by sending an email to [email protected]


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