Calamari with Baked Beans

This is a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe with a few minor tweaks. Out with the smoked paprika because we don’t have any, and in with a little honey for sweetness. Half a glass of Sherry is required so we had to go out and buy some specially. We opted for Tudor Rose ‘We can’t legally call it Sherry’ Cream which at £2.08 was the cheapest we could find in Sainsbury’s. With hindsight this was a mistake.

Calamari with Baked Beans

Preparation time: 15 minutes plus overnight soaking
Cooking time: 2½ hours
Skill level: Easy


  • dried haricot beans – 200g
  • calamari – 350g
  • large onion – chopped
  • 2 celery sticks – chopped
  • chopped tomatoes – 400g tin
  • garlic – 6 cloves – finely chopped
  • fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • paprika – 2 tsp
  • cayenne pepper – pinch
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • fish stock – 750ml
  • sherry – half a glass
  • honey – 1 tsp
  • olive oil
  • s & p

Soak the beans overnight in plenty of cold water.

Beans soaking

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan, add the squid and fry for 3-4 minutes until starting to colour.

Add the onion, celery, garlic, fennel seeds, paprika and cayenne and fry for 5 minutes until the onion starts to soften.


Drain the beans and add to the pot along with the tomatoes, lemon zest, thyme, bay leaves, honey, stock and sherry. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 2 hours after which time the sauce should deliciously thick and the beans and squid perfectly tender.

Taste and season.

Serve with a chunk of homemade bread

Verdict: This is delicious. The sauce is thick with a hint of aniseed and the squid as tender as a kiss on the forehead from Nurse Mary McKind. I urge you to invest the time and make this.

Drink: This was pre-pub ballast, so water.

Entertainment: A slideshow of Libyan adventures.

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