Summer Calamari Stew

The tomatoes are pouring out of the garden almost faster than I can use them, so this is the first in a series of tomato recipes. Yes, I serve them sliced with olive oil, maldon salt, black pepper, basil and some sort of rich cheese at least twice a week, but still I need to use more. This recipe uses amazingly fresh Monterrey squid from Osprey Seafood in Napa with garlic and chilies from last year, and tomatoes and squash from this year.

1 1/2 oz.  Extra-virgin olive oil (I use the Tuscan  from Costco)
1/2 oz. garlic, peeled, root end off, and sliced thin1/2 oz. canned anchovy filet, minced
2 ” dried cayenne chili, crushed up

Heat a suitable pot over medium heat, then add above ingredients, and saute until fragrant.



When the garlic begins to soften, add:

1 lb. fresh tomato, cored, peeled, and coarsely chopped (concassee)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook slowly for about ten minutes, or until the tomatoes lose their raw flavor.


Then add:

1 lb. fresh calamari, cleaned, tubes cut into about 1″ rings.


Raise the heat to high, and cook just until the squid begins to firm up.


Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat 1 oz. EVOO, and add 12 oz. green and gold zucchini cut into large dice. Season nicely with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until the squash begins to soften.


Finally, add the tomato and squid mixture to the squash, and toss to combine evenly. Simmer just until the squid is fully cooked, about two minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper and serve over steamed rice. A nice bottle of rose from Provence and you’re all set for dinner!


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David Gingrass is a food and beverage operations professional with a career spanning more than three decades. His fascination with and love for food, wine and entertaining allows him to view his work as both a vocation and an avocation. Gingrass graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York then cooked in the Bay Area for two years before landing a job at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood. There he learned to make the signature breads and sausages that he became known for at Postrio and Hawthorne Lane. He was soon promoted to kitchen manager and managed the operational and expense control aspects of Puck’s iconic restaurant for the next four years. Gingrass returned to San Francisco in 1989 when Puck tapped him and his then-wife Anne to open Postrio, Puck’s third restaurant and his first outside of Los Angeles. Postrio opened to rave reviews and soon became the #1 popular Bay Area restaurant in the prestigious Zagat survey. Five and a half years later, the opportunity to open a restaurant of his own presented itself. Hawthorne Lane opened in 1995 and was a San Francisco dining institution for over twelve years, catering to the likes of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Mayor Willie Brown, James Carville, President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton. He closed Hawthorne Lane at the end of its fifteen-year lease in 2009 to build a consulting practice for the hospitality industry, sharing his wealth of culinary and operational experiences with new and existing restaurants, assisting them to become successful and profitable.