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Baked Stuffed Calamari

Baked Stuffed Calamari

Baked Stuffed Calamari

I’ve been following “From The Bartolini Kitchen” blog for more than four years. John’s blog and now book of the same name is a record of recipes that pay homage to his Italian heritage, the food he ate as a child when his large extended family all lived together, the food his mother and aunt cooked, the food that evoked the nostalgia of childhood.

In March John posted the last recipes of that project. His timing was impeccable as his elderly aunt, the source of many of the recipes and the arbitrator of flavour passed away soon after.

I filed this recipe away immediately after the post hit my WP Reader and went looking for small fresh squid. Every visit to my fishmonger since, I’ve hoped to come home with squid, but found that all that was available was frozen tubes, no thanks, or tiny fresh arrow squid no bigger than my thumb. The week the arrow squid has finally grown just a little.

It may seem a tad esoteric, but I love the process of cleaning fresh seafood. I feel it keeps me in touch with the reality of my food source and enhances my gratitude for the beautiful fresh food I have available to me. Farmer’s Markets affect me in the same way.

Calamari is simple to clean. A gentle tug of the head will detach the innards from the body. They all come out cleanly attached to the head, then you simply cut across in front of the eyes to separate the edible tentacles ensuring there is no hard beak at the join. Discard the head and digestive tract.

The next step is to remove the backbone from the tube. The internal long thin transparent acetate-like piece runs the length of the tube, it should pull out easily. You then need to remove the skin. It’s important to remove it all as this is what turns calamari into rubber bands. I find the best way is to peel off the wings first. That will give you a broad edge to grasp so you can easily peel the skin from the remainder of the tube. Now peel the wings off the skin that came with them when you removed them from the body. All that’s left to do is rinse the tube inside and out, and rinse the wings and tentacles. The calamari is then good to go.

The delicately flavoured super fresh squid really shines in this dish. I’ve changed the original recipe just a little. Thanks John for the information, inspiration and the delicious calamari recipe.

I bought 1/2 kg for 2 people, uncleaned weight, nine small squid

Stuffed Calamari – serves 2

500g calamari, cleaned with tentacles and wings reserved

1 1/2 cups fresh sourdough breadcrumbs

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons oil

freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C

Generously oil a shallow baking dish or 2 dishes for individual serves.

Combine the breadcrumbs, parsley lemon zest pepper and chopped squid wings and tentacles.

Dampen the mix with a little olive oil.

Stuff the breadcrumb mixture into the squid tubes, not too tight though as they will shrink when they cook.

Put the stuffed squid into the baking dish(es) with little space around so the heat can circulate drizzle over the remaining oil, then place on the centre rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

53 comments on “Baked Stuffed Calamari

  1. natureinspiredmom
    February 19, 2017

    This looks exquisite…I will definitely have to try! 🙂

    Like

  2. E. Teresinha
    November 4, 2016

    I love stuffed calamari! I usually use the tentacles, rice, chorizo and some kale to stuff it. It is very delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe, I will sure try it 😀

    Like

  3. patrick @alldayieat.com
    November 2, 2016

    looking good!!!

    Like

  4. dunelight
    October 23, 2016

    I do not have access to fresh calamari. When I order it it is often prepared in an oriental fashion. This too sounds pretty amazing.

    Like

  5. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things
    October 18, 2016

    Beautiful!

    Like

  6. thesnowwoman
    October 13, 2016

    Oh this little looks amazing! No one else in my house likes seafood so I never make it. I have an Aussie friend visiting soon who loves seafood, I may make this for us!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sabine
    October 12, 2016

    WOnderful, Sandra (and John!) I last ate stuffed squid in BArcelona, Spain, recently, it´s such an exquisite dish to make & to have. Plus it makes me dream of summer by the seaside, what more can one ask for?

    Like

  8. Gretchen
    October 9, 2016

    I remember seeing this recipe on his blog too. I have three little calamari lovers begging for this!

    Like

  9. LB
    October 7, 2016

    Totally craving this now

    Like

  10. Michelle
    October 7, 2016

    Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Glenda
    October 7, 2016

    Sandra, I had intentions of making that dish too but I never got around to it. I am so glad you did.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 7, 2016

      Thanks Glenda, it just took me a while to get squid big enough to stuff, but worth the wait nevertheless.

      Like

  12. Linda Duffin
    October 6, 2016

    I love John’s recipes too, such an inspiration. Stuffed squid, mmm, what’s not to like?

    Like

  13. chef mimi
    October 6, 2016

    This dish looks exquisite! Whenever I travel I order calamari/squid/octopus in whatever form I can get it. It’s one of my favorites, but I can’t get it where I live. As a result I have no experience preparing it either…

    Like

  14. Conor Bofin
    October 6, 2016

    Delicious looking squid. Lovely job. John runs a beautiful blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Gather and Graze
    October 6, 2016

    Oh yum! What a delicious dish Sandra and so lovely to pay tribute to John and the Bartolini family. I’ll be keeping an eye out for calamari next time I’m out at our local seafood shop to be able to try this. xx

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 6, 2016

      Simple and delicious. The flavour is delicate, the squid could easily be overwhelmed but the stuffing just right. Hope you find some squid soon…

      Liked by 1 person

  16. ChgoJohn
    October 6, 2016

    Aw, Sandra. This is so kind of you. I really love to hear that someone has made and enjoyed one of our family recipes. It’s all the better when the cook is as accomplished as you certainly are. Your calamari could easily pass for those made by a Bartolini. Easily. 🙂
    Thanks, too, for the kind words in this Comments section.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 6, 2016

      Very deserving John, you underestimate yourself, you have admiring fans worldwide. Thanks for being such a good blogging mate.

      Like

  17. Eha
    October 6, 2016

    Methinks we all love John and most love both squid and calamari . . . well, I have also always found pleasure in the cleaning: it is not messy and everything comes apart very easily until you are left with the shiny, slippery fresh-smelling end product in your hands 🙂 ! Have made and enjoyed John’s recipe – have to check out your differences . . . oh, cuttlefish too is on the menu whenever I can get it . . . wish I had a genie to take me to the Sydney Fish Market every fortnight!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      October 6, 2016

      I didn’t change much added lemon zest instead of juice, omitted the garlic because I can’t eat, used a bit more olive oil, a bit less bread, all in all it was delicious. John B has a lot of admirers

      Like

  18. StefanGourmet
    October 6, 2016

    This is a lovely recipe and you are so right to honor John. Your cleaning instructions are spot on. Great post.

    Like

  19. Movin' it with Michelle
    October 6, 2016

    That looks and sounds amazing!

    Like

  20. katechiconi
    October 5, 2016

    I shall have to see if I can get fresh calamari at the Fisherman’s Co-op. And start saving my GF bread crusts!

    Like

  21. M. L. Kappa
    October 5, 2016

    Will definitely try this. Calamari is easy to find in Greece. I’ve just started following the bartolini blog as well!

    Like

  22. Francesca
    October 5, 2016

    A great classic Italian dish. I’m not sure how squid are marketed in America, but in Australia, squid and calamari are quite different, in texture, shape and price.I can pick up fresh squid for around $6-$7 a kilo while at the same time, fresh calamari retails at around $20 – $22 or more, depending on your fishmonger’s suburb. Squid in Australia is a very cheap and sustainable fish and is great in a dish like this, making it a cheap meal. When I get hold of small calamari, not arrowhead squid, expensive little critters that they are, I might use them differently.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 5, 2016

      I’ve learned something here, I though calamari and squid were interchangeable names for the same critter while cuttlefish was an entirely different species. BTW have you seen the Bass Strait cuttlefish at the Melb Aquarium during mating season, they change their colours continuously which they flash and pulsate, an absolutely amazing sight. I paid $14/kg for arrow squid, made a cheap meal for 2

      Liked by 1 person

      • Francesca
        October 6, 2016

        Ah yes, arrow squid is super cheap, and in Melbourne, where it is often prolific in some markets, can retail for $7. True calamari has rounded wings and is a much finer skinned beast- at three times the price which is preferred for fast dishes, grilling and so on. I must go to that aquarium and see the cuttlefish mating- I’ve never been there.

        Like

  23. Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
    October 5, 2016

    I’ve also bookmarked John’s recipe and am also a proud owner of his book. I’ve always been intimidated with the cleaning process of squid, but have watched my fishmonger do it. It is good to have your instructions so I shouldn’t be such a wimp about it. Vow to do this next time I get calamari.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      October 5, 2016

      Don’t be intimidated by cleaning squid Debi, it’s not messy, everything is quite contained and to have the fresh seafood is such a bonus. Chicago John is a blogging stalwart, really enjoy his posts and comments

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Utkarshini Khanna
    October 5, 2016

    This looks so good!

    Like

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This entry was posted on October 5, 2016 by in Cooking, FODMAP diet, Food, Lactose Free, Light Savoury Dishes, Main Meals, recipes, Seafood Dishes and tagged , , , .
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