Calamari Fra Diavolo Recipe

By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.

A zesty Italian dish, Calamari Fra Diavolo is my favorite way to enjoy heart-healthy squid, which I’ve recommended for years as one of the best sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.

Although I usually only eat Calamari Fra Diavolo in restaurants, I received some fresh squid in a recent fish delivery and decided…why not try it at home with my favorite arrabbiata (spicy hot tomato) sauce? I added carrots and celery to the onion sauté for more veggie crunch, but you could easily omit these ingredients.  

While many people enjoy Calamari Fra Diavolo over pasta, others simply eat it the sauce in a bowl. If using regular (white) pasta, try to limit pasta portion size to 1 or 1.5 cups per person. With pasta dishes, I also recommend substituting lentil or chickpea pasta for white pasta, to limit carbs while increasing protein and fiber content – especially if you like larger pasta portion sizes.

For those of you who love Italian food or are adventurous eaters, here’s my recipe… calamari fra diavolo recipe


  • Optional: 1 box or bag of pasta of choice*
  • 2 ½ lbs fresh squid, cleaned and sliced into ½ inch rings; tentacles sliced into manageable pieces
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil – EVOO or flavored (garlic, basil, or jalapeño) olive oil
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, sliced into thin slivers
  • Chopped onion
  • Optional: chopped carrots
  • Optional: chopped celery
  • 1 jar organic arrabbiata sauce
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs and spices
  • ½ cup of filtered water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: splash of red or white wine
  • Optional: chopped parsley or basil for garnish

*Linguini is a popular choice of pasta for Seafood Fra Diavolos, as is fusilli. I made this recipe with a tubular spaghetti, and would also recommend a gluten-free lentil or chickpea pasta. Whichever pasta you choose, try to find an organic one and cook it al denté (firm and chewy).

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: This page contains affiliate links. Should you purchase products after clicking on them, we may earn commissions. Such commissions help fund the continued operation of this web site. We only recommend products Dr. Sinatra, himself, used and /or sold.

To Make Calamari Fra Diavolo:

  1. Heat pasta water with salt on stove until it boils; after completing step #4 below, cook pasta to al denté.
  2. Preheat a large skillet on medium high-heat and sauté the squid rings and tentacles in 1 or 2 Tbsp olive oil for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Drain liquid if you like (it will be purplish color), and set squid aside.
  3. Heat another 2 or 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan and sauté the garlic, onions, and optional celery and carrots for several minutes until the onions are translucent.
  4. To this veggie mixture, add the squid, organic arrabbiata sauce, water and optional splash of wine.
  5. Simmer the mixture for about 15 to 20 minutes, adding more water if the sauce thickens beyond your liking.
  6. If eating with pasta, serve pasta family style on a large platter or in individual bowls, and top with Calamari Fra Diavolo sauce; if not, ladle into individual bowls.
  7. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or basil.


© All rights reserved.

Most Popular