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Calamari Ragu Fra Diavolo Plated

Calamari Ragu Fra Diavolo

This Calamari Ragu Fra Diavolo is a super-savory combination of tender, slow-cooked calamari in a rich tomato sauce that has been seriously spiked with two forms of heat. The calamari is braised until it has just the right texture, imparting its fantastic flavor to the sauce along the way. Despite this dish needing some cooking time to break down the calamari, it is actually very simple to prepare with a few key ingredients.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 people


  • 3-4 Tbsp olive or anchovy oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2-3 anchovy filets
  • 1 Tbsp Calabrian chile paste (See Note below.)⁠
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (See Note below.)⁠
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 pounds cleaned calamari, bodies sliced into ½” thick rings⁠
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, hand-crushed
  • 1/4 can water
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper⁠
  • 1 pound long pasta such as linguine, spaghetti or bucatini⁠ + salt for pasta water


  • Combine the oil, garlic and anchovy in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Stir and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until the anchovy has mostly dissolved. Stir in the chile paste, crushed red pepper and half the parsley and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the calamari and sauté for a couple of minutes. Then, add the tomatoes, water, dried herbs, salt and black pepper and gently stir until all ingredients are well-combined.
  • Cover the pan and bring the mixture to a light boil, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture has come to a boil, remove the cover and reduce the heat to a light simmer. Simmer the mixture about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the calamari are very tender. Stir the mixture regularly so that it does not stick or get clumpy. Add additional water if the sauce becomes too thick.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. ⁠ Once the water comes to a boil, add salt, then the pasta, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the package directions, or about 2 minutes before you think it is al dente. Be sure to reserve at least 1 cup of the starchy pasta water.
  • Once the calamari are at the desired level of tenderness, transfer the cooked pasta and about ½ cup pasta water to the pan with the sauce and toss well, allowing the pasta to finish cooking in the delicious flavors of the sauce. Add additional pasta water of more moisture is needed. Adjust seasonings with additional salt and black pepper if necessary. Fold in remaining parsley, turn off the heat and transfer to a serving platter or bowl. Buon Appetito!


  • This recipe is meant to be spicy with a good amount of heat. Feel free to reduce the amount of chile paste and crushed red pepper to your personal preference.
  • Use a large pot with 5 to 6 quarts water for 1 pound of pasta. Bring the water to a boil before adding the salt. Use 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp salt.
  • The pasta water is key! Add it to the sauce along with the pasta for the additional moisture needed to finish cooking the pasta.
  • I paired this Calamari Ragu with linguine, but it works well with lots of other long pasta shapes, such as spaghetti, bucatini and spaghettone.
  • Top this with toasted breadcrumbs for a nice crunch!
  • The sauce can be made 2 to 3 days in advance. It also freezes really well and can be held in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Recipe by Mangia With Michele. Please visit my site for more great cooking inspiration!
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