Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Squid and bell pepper couscous
( Cuscus calamari e peperoni)

Our original home cooking

My husband and I like couscous very much, really! We prefer whole-wheat and whole-emmer couscous. In general, we combine it with rustic sauces made only with vegetables or fish & vegetables, as in this case. Mediterranean diet recipe for summer, not to be eaten frequently.

difficulty: easy

time: 1 hour 30 minutes

calories: 637 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 2

  • 160g (5.6 ounces) whole-wheat emmer couscous, precooked
  • 600g (1.3 pounds) red and yellow bell peppers
  • 500g (1.1 pounds) fresh squids
  • 50g (1 3/4 ounces) fresh spring onion
  • 30g (1 ounce) shallot
  • Some strands fresh chives
  • Some leaves fresh basil
  • Some sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 500g (1.1 pounds) pureed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper, if liked
easy recipe
preparation: 30 minutes
cooking: 60 minutes
total: 1 hour 30 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 637 (kcal) 32 % - 2666 (kJ)
Protein: 36.2 (g) 73 % GDA
Total fat: 20.2 (g) 29 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 78.0 (g) 29 % GDA
Sugars: 23.5 (g) 27 % GDA

Download free PDF version (91 download).

Recipe for couscous with bell peppers and squids


  • - Clean squids.
    Keep the tail of every squid in one hand and pull firmly its head, with a slight rotation. You'll be able to see all innards still attached to its head.
    The edible parts of a squid are its tentacles and body tube, once removed its innards.
    Cut squid tentacles just behind its eyes with the help of a sharp knife.
    Now you have to remove its beak, by pushing your fingers through its tentacles.
    The following step is to remove its clear cartilage, known as cuttlebone, from the body tube.
    Wash every body tube under running water and then remove its skin membrane, always under water.
    Wash tentacles too.
    Slice every body tube into rings, crosswise.
  • - Prepare bell peppers.
    Wash them under running cold water.
    Quarter them and remove all seeds and any pith too.
    Cube their flesh.
  • - Slice onion and shallot very finely.


  • - Put 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, bay leaf and bell peppers in a wok or non-stick frying pan.
    Let all fry slightly on a very low heat, stirring frequently, more than 10 minutes.
  • - Add onion and shallot and continue cooking, other 5 minutes. Remember to stir often.
  • - Add squid rings too. Increase heat and let all flavor, some minutes.
    The squids will eliminate a bit of their internal water.
    Pour in pureed tomatoes, reduce heat, season to taste with salt and continue cooking, half-covered, about 40 minutes. Avoid adding any water or broth. Squids should cook in this cooking juice.
  • - Meanwhile wash aromatic herbs and pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper.
  • - Just before turning off the stove cut in chives, parlsey and basil.
  • - Prepare couscous following the instructions. Generally, I add 2 teaspoons olive oil.

Just before serving

  • - Mix couscous with bell pepper and squid sauce.
  • - Your dish is ready!
  • - Serve it still hot or at room temperature according to the season.



  • - You could also use frozen squids, already cleaned (300 to 350g - 10 1/2 to 12 1/3 ounces). Let them thaw at room temperature or follow the instructions.
  • - I often use ripe cherry tomatoes. Yummy!

Menu planning

  • - This couscous recipe is one-plate meal. Obviously! It's enough to read its calories.
  • - It's a summer dish when bell peppers are in season.
  • - The portion is very satisfying but you have to keep in mind that the rest of the day has to be planned accurately, as you can read below.

Healthy eating

  • - Undoubtedly, this couscous with squids and peppers is high in calories and so it is to be served as one-plate meal. But sugars are to be taken into consideration too. In fact, bell peppers provide 4.2 grams of sugar per 100 grams of edible product. Fortunately, a little compensation comes from its fiber: 11.3 grams. So who is attentive to his daily diet to stay healthy should choose light foods for the rest of the day, low in fat and sugars. Such a choice can rebalance daily calories.


What's the right wine for " Squid and bell pepper couscous "?

If you like rosé wines you can pair Montepulciano Cerasuolo of Abruzzo to couscous with squids and bell peppers. On the contrary match a white wine such as a Pinot Grigio from DOC Collio (Friuli) or from Lison Pramaggiore (Veneto)