The Not-So Starving Student—Easy Friday Night Calamari Marinara

The Not-So Starving Student—Easy Friday Night Calamari Marinara

Ever feel like having something fancier than just take out for Friday night?  When I feel like having something more exotic without putting a significant amount of time in the kitchen, I turn to my pasta dishes.  Besides the traditional meatball marinara, ever considered a seafood marinara? If you’re not a big fan of squid, shrimp also works great with this recipe.  This is a personal recipe that I’ve used for many years.  I recall the day I first tested this recipe was when my parents had a few leftover pre-cut calamari rings in the freezer and didn’t have any inspiration for a recipe.  Since that day I’ve revamped this recipe to create a more flavorful sauce base for the pasta.

One of my favorite elements about seafood pasta is the incredible flavor that comes from seafood mixed with a rich tomato or cream base that just melts in your mouth.  I love the mix of texture I get with squid as well that can’t be found with traditional meatball marinaras.  The ingredients are incredibly simple and I whipped up this dish in under 30 minutes without finishing the latest episode of Kobra Kai on Netflix.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Makes 2 servings

Cooking utensils:

Frying pan
Stock pot


400 mL Marinara sauce
2 medium sized frozen/pre-processed squids (8 inches length) or 2 servings of peeled uncooked shrimp (20 medium sized shrimp)
3 cloves garlic
½ yellow or white onion
1 tbsp mayo
½ tbsp unsalted butter
1.5 cup of uncooked pasta (1 serving)
4 cups water
1 tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro or parsley
2 strips bacon
2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
1 tbsp white wine or cooking wine
Salt/pepper to taste

  1. Add 4 cups of water to a stock pot and boil water under high heat
  2. When water is boiling, add 1.5 cup of uncooked pasta and turn heat to high.  Cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Clean squid under running water and remove innards if unprocessed.  If frozen, ensure squid is fully thawed.
  4. Pat squid dry with paper towel and chop into 1 cm sized uniform rings as shown in image.
  5. Add 2 slices of bacon to the frying pan and cook until bacon is golden brown and set aside, drain excess oil/fat if desired.  Once cool, cut bacon into coarse bits.
  6. Finely mince garlic.
  7. Heat frying pan to medium-high heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil to pan.  Add onions to pan and stir fry until slightly charred.
  8. Add squid into frying pan and close lid to cook for 3 minutes.
  9. Add marinara sauce, course bacon bits, mayo, butter, garlic, salt/pepper to taste, cooking wine/white wine and allow it to simmer under low-medium heat until pasta is ready to serve.
  10. Cook pasta for 20 minutes or until au dente and plate on a large dish.
  11. Add marinara sauce with squid over cooked pasta, mix and serve!
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