Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Stuffed Calamari - Calamari Ripieni

Today I want to show you my favorite calamari dish, stuffed calamari, or calamari ripieni as we say in Italy.
The only recipe that I have posted so far with squid is a risotto. As I mentioned before, I love calamari because they are relatively inexpensive, quite versatile and very tasty. And the tubes make perfect pouches to fill. You will find this stuffing extremely delicious, made by using the tentacles of the squid, bread crumbs and, of course, Italian parsley.
The stuffed calamari can be served as an appetizer for a fancy dinner party, or a main dish for a seafood based dinner. Bigger calamari are more adequate as an entree', and are faster to work with. The smaller ones are the perfect size for a savory appetizer, but require a little more effort.
If you like seafood and calamari in particular, I am very confident you will love these, and they will become your favorite too!

Ingredients: Serving as appetizer for 6 people
  • 1 lb cleaned calamari, tentacles and tubes
  • 2  slices of (white) bread,
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, plain
  • 1 egg
Preparation time: about 45 minutes


Step 1: Remove the crust from the slices of bread and cut in small cubes. Add the milk, and let the bread absorb it.
Step 2: In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil with the minced garlic. Please note, I only minced half of the clove, so the taste will be a little less garlicky, and I will be able to remove one half at the end. If you like a strong garlic taste, you can mince it all.
As I mentioned before, when I chop garlic, I like to remove the yellowish middle part (the sprout). I have read that this is the part that has a strong taste and make the garlic harder to digest.
Step 3: Cut the calamari tentacles in small pieces and add to the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add  the white wine and the parsley. Season with salt.
Step 4: Let the calamari simmer for a couple of minutes. Squeeze out from the bread most of the milk and add to the calamari tentacles together with the bread crumbs. Mix well.
Step 5: Remove the pan from the stove. The mixture should have a dense consistency as shown in my picture. If too soft, you can cook some more or add more bread crumbs.
Step 6: Add the egg and mix well. Now we are ready to fill in the tubes.
Step 7: To fill the calamari tubes, I used a cake decorating container without the tip (shown in photo). Or you can use one of those decorating bags (with a hole big enough) or simply a teaspoon, which is fine, might just take a little longer.
Don't fill the tube completely (about 3/4 of the way) and close with a toothpick. If the tube is filled to much, it might break and explode!! I always have a couple that will lose some of their stuffing. Don't worry if it happens, you will be able to eat it all, and it's all very yummy!
Step 8: In a large skillet, heat over medium flame two tablespoons of olive oil and 1 garlic clove cut in half or crushed. Add the stuffed calamari and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn them over and cook the other side for another two minutes. Add white wine, lower flame. Now, it's when some of the calamari will pop or lose some of the stuffing. As I said, that's OK. Sprinkle with salt and more parsley. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
ll ready! What do you think? Outstanding!
Buon appetito!

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