Cooking Italy: Fried Calamari~

13 02 2011

The first recipe on our February Cooking Italy schedule is Fried Calamari, by Marcella Hazan, as presented in her Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.  The recipe is beyond simplicity…it’s far more work to finish cleaning the calamari!  The result is a light, airy breading that still has plenty of crunch, but doesn’t compete with the very delicate calamari flavor.

I shouldn’t complain about cleaning the calamari.  The tubes were pretty much ready to go… a few still had little flaps attached.  Don’t fret…they pull off very easily and should be added to your cookable collection.  I needed to clean the tentacles a little better. There were still a number of beaks in place.  Simply cut out the beak portion, even up the tentacles and add both sides to your cookables.  The stringy pieces are edible, but kind of make a mess…I sacrificed them.

Now…I could have made things easier on myself by buying rings ready to go, but I found such a great deal on a 3# block of calamari frozen in water that I couldn’t turn it down.  It would have fed 4 nicely, or the 2 of us twice.  I let it melt in its bag in cold water until I was able to start separating the tubes without tearing them.  The tentacles were the worst to separate! LOL!  Half of the package was resealed with a Food Saver (drain as much water away as you can, then fold a paper towel up so it spans the width of the bag.  Put the paper towel in the bag, between the calamari and the seal, and seal.  The paper towel will catch most of the liquid remaining in the bag before it reaches the vacuum chamber.

Tasting Notes~
Very, very light and delicate… Salt is added at the last minute before serving…I couldn’t resist adding a bit of freshly grated parmesan and a bit of parsley for color.  There was sooooo much white!  My oil was really fresh…that’s why there isn’t much browning.   These were fried at 350°-375°.  They cook very quickly!  I served them with a lemon and herb aioli…although marinara is very popular too.  I wouldn’t hesitate to use this recipe again…especially if this sounds really good and I’m tired!  I would like to investigate other recipes now…now that I know where to get the calamari AND how easy this is to do!  I simply love fried calamari, and have made a meal of them more than once!  I love the Chinese version our local restaurant makes too…hmmmm…!  Watch this space!  LOL!  Essentially, this is a keeper and will visit our house again and again!




4 responses

26 06 2012
6 03 2011

Looks great…you have a way of making this even look good and I’m a little squeamish when it comes to squid!

13 02 2011

Hmm-mmm, Glennis, that looks sooo good!
I took the lazy way out and bought frozen rings, but Ed and I are both down with cold/flu this week and this just seemed like too much trouble. Maybe next week. Lemony aioli, exactly what I had in mind too!
What did you do for the rest of the meal? I usually have calamari like this as a starter, but could easily pig out for the main course.

15 02 2011
Can't Believe We Ate...

I confess…we had some other little munchie thing on the side with the calamari…but we pretty much just played piggies! And it was fun! *giggle*

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