Richard Garcia's Squid Submarine Sandwich

squid sandwich
Chef Garcia's Squid Submarine Sandwich

Seeking an alternative to the dismal meatball sandwiches from school cafeterias past, Chef Garcia has crafted local squid balls out of ground Long Fin squid from Point Judith, RI; breadcrumbs, garlic and marjoram; sandwiched in a black squid ink sesame submarine roll, topped with crispy tentacles and an old school tomato sauce he learned as a kid.

The sandwich combines chef Garcia’s passion for local, sustainable seafood and affinity for a good ol’ meatball sandwich, with a result that is as comforting as it is adventurous. “It’s a great alternative to a heavy meatball sub," says Garcia. "Once we add the seasoning and sauce, it literally tastes the same! Neither the squid nor the ink impart distinct flavors, so it’s more of a novelty than culinary genius, but always a hit when we feature it on the specials menu.”

Squid Submarine Sandwich

Ink Bread

3/4 oz Dry Yeast
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups warm filtered water
2 oz unsalted butter (melted)
1 tsp Granulated sugar
2 TB squid ink
2 lbs AP Flour
2 tsp kosher salt

In bowl fitted with dough hook place all ingredients except for the flour and salt.
Place mixer on lowest setting and allow yeast to dissolve completely and all remaining ingredients to incorporate.
Add flour & salt and mix until a ball is formed.
Cover and place in a warm area of the kitchen. Allow to double in size
Punch down and remove from bowl onto floured surface. Cut into 4 oz balls. Shape the balls into ovals and uncovered  allow to rise (double in size) in warm area of kitchen again.
Brush with an egg wash before baking at 350F for 9-11 minutes.
Squid Meatballs

3 tbsp EVOO
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 lb cleaned fresh squid tubes & tentacles
1 TB chopped FRESH oregano
1 TB chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup finely ground panko bread crumbs
AP Flour for coating  meatballs
Red Sauce of Your choice (see below)

Saute the garlic & red onion in the extra virgin olive oil until translucent (do not allow to get any color).
Season the garlic and onion mixture with salt & pepper.
Process the tubes and tentacles ( reserve a few tentacles for garnish) in a food processor.
With the machine still running slowly incorporate the garlic mixture into the squid and then add the herbs, red pepper flake  and bread crumbs. Season with salt & pepper.
Form into meatballs and place in the freezer for 15 minutes to allow to set up properly.
Dust meatballs in flour and sauté in olive oil until golden brown.
Heat up your red sauce and add the meatballs, cook the meatballs in the sauce over low heat for 15 minutes

Old School Tomato Sauce

1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
10 lb of your farmers over ripe tomatoes, halved lengthwise, cored, and coarsely chopped
10 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
1 red onion sliced thinly
1 cup SPANISH extra-virgin olive oil (sorry I can never resist saying that)
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

Toss salt and sugar with tomatoes in a large bowl, then let stand until you can see lots of juice, this will take about 15 minutes.

Cook the onions and garlic in the extra virgin olive oil in a wide 8 to 10-quart heavy pot over low-moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully add tomato mixture, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, covered, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring more frequently toward end of cooking, until sauce is thickened and reduced by half which will take about 3 hours. Add your fresh basil and force sauce through food mill (if you don't have a food mill, you can put everything in a food processor at this time or a blender)  into a large bowl, discarding all the solids left in the food mill. Ladle sauce into airtight containers and cool completely, uncovered, then freeze, covered if you’re not going to use right away. This makes about 2 qts of sauce.


Richard Garcia is the Executive Chef of the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. He is one of the many chefs who will be at the Taste of WGBH Food and Wine Festival on September 13-15, 2012. Be sure to check out his Chef Demo on Saturday.


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