Klamari mimlija stuffed squid



2 large ripe tomatoes
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
200ml white wine
Salt and pepper

Stuffed Squid

1kg whole squid, or squid tubes, wings and tentacles
3 eggs (2 hard-boiled, peeled and chopped)
1 cup (loosely packed) torn bread without crusts from a continental-style loaf
60g chopped Kalamata olives
1 Tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped
2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
grated zest of 1 small lemon
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
100ml milk (if required)
Salt and pepper


Serves 4 – preparation: 30 minutes cooking: 55 minutes

  1. To make the sauce, finely dice the tomatoes. In a large saucepan, over a medium heat, fry the onion and the garlic in the oil for 5 minutes until soft.
    Add the wine, and reduce the liquid for 3 minutes.
    Stir in the tomato, add salt and pepper to taste, and turn off the heat.
  2. Prepare the squid (see next page), and rinse the tentacles, wings and tube inside and out. Dice the tentacles and wings to include in the stuffing.
  3. Crack the raw egg into a large bowl and whisk. Mix in the diced squid and remaining ingredients. Milk can be added after combining bread with the other ingredients. If the bread doesn’t moisten enough with oil and vinegar from the capers, use milk to soften the mixture.
  4. Stuff into the squid tubes, making sure the filling is not too loose but also not too compact, as it will expand and can split the tubes during cooking.
  5. Reheat the sauce. Scrape the sauce to the sides so that when you add the squid, it touches the pan. Lightly brown the squid tubes on two sides. Return the sauce around the squid and mix in 100ml of water. Cover with a lid and simmer over a very low heat for 40 minutes, adding more splashes of water if the sauce dries out.
  6. To serve, slice each squid tube on an angle into 4–5 pieces each. Serve the slices with the sauce, together with crusty bread and a salad or side dish.


This is an edited extract from Malta by Simon Bajada, published by Hardie Grant Books. Available in book stores from the 7 June. Photography by Simon Bajada.
The author explores his own family’s heritage, capturing Maltese food for the home cook, with recipes including ftira, a sourdough bread drenched in tomato, tuna and olives, aljotta soup,
a flavour-packed brew of fish and garlic, and pastizzi, a deliciously addictive pastry.

Squid Games

Squid is eaten in many cuisines, often called by its culinary name calamari when deep fried.

Agood source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, iron and calcium, most of its health benefits are because of the omega-3 that helps maintain good heart health, pregnancy health, heathy skin, hair and nails, and possibly reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
If served grilled or steamed, squid can be quite healthy because of its low saturated fat level.
Preparing and cooking squid is relatively easy, being careful not to overcook it.
Here is author and chef Simon Bajada’s method of preparing whole squid for cooking.

  1. Gently pull the tentacles away from the body; the intestines should come at the same time.
  2. Cut beneath the eyes to remove the intestines from the tentacles, and then push out the beak in the centre of the tentacles.
  3. Pull out the transparent quill from inside the body.
  4. Slice the wings off the body. Peel the skin from the body and wings.
  5. Rinse the tentacles, wings and tube inside and out before using.

Did you know?
100g of squid has 85 kcal, 2.3g carbohydrates, 0g fibre, 1.1g fat, and 16g protein.

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