For the squid and stuffing:
1 pound cleaned squid (about 8 medium squid)
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 teaspoon dried Thyme, crushed
1 tablespoon minced Garlic
1 cup minced Onions
1/4 cup finely diced serrano ham or Prosciutto
2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted Almonds
2 tablespoons plain bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon Salt
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2/3 cup clam juice or fish broth
1 1/3 cups canned Tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 bay leaf
Pinch of crushed red Pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
TO MAKE THE SQUID AND STUFFING: Separate the squid bodies and tentacles. Pat the tentacles dry with a paper towel and chop them into small pieces. Flush the bodies clean with water; dry and set them aside. Make sure the plastic-like stiff membranes are removed and discarded.
Ina medium skillet, heat the oil and Thyme and saute the Garlic and onion for 5 minutes, or until the Onions are translucent. Stir in the ham and the chopped squid tentacles and cook over high heat until the squid firms, 2 to 3 minutes. If the squid throws off a lot of liquid, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and reduce the liquid down to a couple of tablespoons. Add the liquid to the reserved squid mixture.
Mix in the Almonds, bread crumbs, and parsley. Season with the slat and freshly ground black Pepper to taste.
TO ASSEMBLE: Loosely stuff the squid bodies with the mixture. Don't overstuff the bodies; the squid shrinks when it cooks and if they are too full, they will burst. Thread the squid closed with toothpicks.
TO COOK THE SQUID AND MAKE THE SAUCE: Heat the Olive oil in a large skillet and saute the stuffed squid about 2 minutes on each side. Add the sherry and reduce by half. Add the remaining sauce ingredients except the Salt and pepper. Scrape any pan drippings into the liquid. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Braise, covered, for 1 hour, or until tender.
TO SERVE: When the squid is tender, remove it from the braising liquid to a serving platter. Remove the bay leaf. Remove the toothpicks and spoon the tomato sauce over the squid. Serve warm or at room temperature, with warm bread to sop up the sauce.