Fried Calamari

Total Time:
30 min
10 min
20 min

6 servings

  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 pound clean squid with tentacles, bodies cut into 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick rings
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup simple tomato sauce, recipe follows or jarred marinara sauce, warmed
  • Simple Tomato Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

Pour enough oil into a heavy large saucepan to reach the depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium heat to 350 degrees F. Mix the flour, parsley, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Working in small batches, toss the squid into the flour mixture to coat. Carefully add the squid to the oil and fry until crisp and very pale golden, about 1 minute per batch. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the fried calamari to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.

Place the fried calamari and lemon wedges on a clean plate. Sprinkle with salt. Serve with the marinara sauce.

Simple Tomato Sauce:

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.

Add 1/2 the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.

Yield: 6 cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

East of preparation: easy

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Pairs Well With
Sparkling Wine

Anything with bubbles

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4.5 75
Only used one cup of flour for 3/4 lb. squid but still had about half a cup left over. Breading stuck better to tentacles than to rings. Squeezed fresh lemon juice over fried calamari and dipped in a spicy arrabbiata sauce. Yummy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The flour did not stick at all! At the end, I had a pile a flour at the bottom of the pot! I just made squid with tons and tons of oil. Not crispy at all..!! How disappointing. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yuck!!!! Normally I love everything that Giada makes but this was horrible. I followed the recipe exact, I am not impressed. The breading did not stick at all. The saviour of stars was the sauce, that is wonderful it will be my quick go to sauce when I don't have a lot of time. Although, I did pizazz it up some like others suggested. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great 'all purpose' recipe. I will use this for all dishes that call for marinara sauce. The only changes I made were that I added 3/4 teaspoon of basil, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and 1/2 cup of dry red wine for the full recipe. It really made it crazy good! I would also suggest cutting the recipe in half, unless you are needing a lot of sauce. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband and I recently moved to Panama and decided to try cooking fresh Calimari we found in the local grocery. You'd think, being from New England, that I'd tried this before, but NO! Wow - so easy and so......good. Did as other reviewers suggested and added garlic powder and paprika to the flour coating. I did not have any problem getting the coating to stick and it really does only take about 1 minute to cook. Yummy, but I'm going to look for a lighter, less flavor intensive dipping sauce. The marinara was yummy with pasta, but really did not let the calimari taste shine! Great recipe and so glad I finally conquered my fear and tried calimari. It's so inexpensive here and I look forward to looking like a star at our next dinner party! Thanks, Giada! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is simple and easy, hard to screw up, however I did find it a bit bland. Definately needs a little more spice for my taste. Over all this is a great recipe, but can use a few tweeks depending on your taste! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Perfect. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Simple recipe but tasty! Got this tip somewhere on the Internet; to keep squid tender soak in milk or butter milk for two-three hours. It really makes a difference. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent recipe. Tender,crunchy and light. Since it is excess moisture that causes calamari to toughen, I dried the calamari by placing it in a colander over a bowl after slicing it, refrigerated it for several hours, then dried it further on paper towel, I dipped the calamari in beaten egg, then the seasoned flour. This kept the flour on the calamari, avoiding the dropping off others have complained of. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was the best calamari iv'e ever tastd in my life. I made it with my boyfriend and he loved it. item not reviewed by moderator and published

This recipe is featured in:

Italian Cooking Basics