Squid Bolognese

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 15 min (includes feezing time)
  • Active: 2 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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1 pound cleaned squid tubes, cut into 1-inch pieces

One 12-ounce piece pepperoni sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 bay leaves 

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds 

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 stalks celery, cut into small dice 

1 medium onion, minced 

1/2 fennel bulb, cut into small dice 

One 28-ounce can crushed or diced San Marzano tomatoes 

1 cup pinot noir 

1 teaspoon gochujang (Korean red pepper puree) or pureed roasted red pepper

1/2 teaspoon fish sauce 

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, diced 

Kosher salt

1 pound dried squid ink pasta, such as linguine

Grated Parmesan, for serving 


Special equipment:
a piece of cheesecloth; a long piece of butcher's twine; a grinding attachment for a stand mixer or a meat grinder
  1. Put the squid and pepperoni in a shallow baking dish, cover and freeze until very firm but not frozen solid, about 1 hour. (Freezing the meats makes them easier to grind.)
  2. Meanwhile, make a sachet by putting the bay leaves, garlic and fennel seeds in the cheesecloth and tying it closed with butcher's twine. Leave one end of the twine fairly long so that you can tie it to the handle of the saucepan.
  3. Using the grinding attachment on a stand mixer or a meat grinder with a medium die, grind the semi-frozen squid and pepperoni.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When it begins to shimmer, add the celery, onion and fennel and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add the ground squid and pepperoni and cook, stirring continuously to break up any large clumps, until the mixture is smooth and comes to a simmer. Cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a simmer and stirring frequently to make sure the bottom of the pan does not scorch, until the pepperoni and squid are browned, 7 to 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the tomatoes, pinot noir, gochujang and fish sauce. Tie the long end of the twine on the sachet to the handle of the saucepan, and put the sachet in the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 1 hour.
  7. Remove the sauce from the heat. Remove the sachet and discard. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil and the butter, stirring until they are absorbed into the sauce. (The sauce can be cooled, and refrigerated, covered, for up to 1 week at this point. Reheat before serving.)
  8. Just before the sauce is done, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender with a bit of resistance between your teeth, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the pasta.
  9. Put the sauce back over low heat, add the pasta and fold it in the sauce until it is nicely glazed, about 2 minutes. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl and serve with grated Parmesan.