Sicilian Stuffed Calamari

Sicilian Stuffed Calamari

A traditional Italian dish, tubes of squid stuffed with many scrumptious flavors like anchovies, pine nuts, capers, olives, and more seafood. You’ll often see dishes heavy on seafood in coastal areas like Sicily and Naples–as much of their society circles around it. After much research of the many different ways to make it, I’ve settled on what I believe is the perfect combination of delicate flavors. If you’re making this dish for a special occasion like Christmas Eve, save some time by prepping the filling the night before and refrigerating overnight. Then the day of, all you have to do is stuff them, make a little sauce, cook the calamari and enjoy!

Serves 4
1 hour

Ingredients:
-10-14 calamari tubes, depending on the size you can find
-Handful of squid tentacles
-Handful of shrimp, tails removed
-4 cloves of garlic, minced
-4 anchovy filets
-1/4 cup Italian olives diced, like Castelvatrano
-1 tbsp. capers, chopped
-1/4 cup dry white wine, like Pinot Grigio
-1/2 cup stale Italian bread, ripped into small pieces, soaked in warm water, and squeezed well
-1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
-1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
-2 tbsp. pine nuts, chopped
-1 tbsp. lemon zest

Sauce Ingredients:
-About 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
-1/2 cup of dry white wine, Pinot Grigio
-2 cloves of garlic, smashed
-salt and pepper
-evoo
-few leaves of fresh basil

To make the filling, add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add your anchovies and garlic, moving around to meld together with a wooden spoon. Add in the squid tentacles and shrimp, cooking for about 2-3 minutes until they begin to turn transluscent. Now add the capers, olives, bread pieces, bread crumbs, and pine nuts. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until it all begins to come together. Now add the white wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add in the fresh parsley and lemon zest, allowing the wine to simmer and reduce. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

You can make the filling up to 1 day in advance, or earlier in the day. Refrigerate until you’re

ready!

The key to stuffed calamari is not overstuffing the squid so it breaks apart. When you cook the tubes, they’re going to shrink. So to avoid any problems, add the cleaned tubes to a pot of boiling water for just a minute, allowing them to shrink a little. Set aside on a plate.

Once they’re cool enough to hold, carefully stuff the filling inside with a small spoon or piping bag, being cautious not to overstuff them, leave a little room. Sprinkle the outsides with a little salt and pepper.

In a sautee pan over medium heat, add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add the stuffed calamari, and cook about 2-3 minutes until they get a little color. Flip it over and add the smashed garlic, cherry tomatoes, and white wine to the pan. Bring it up to a simmer and use your wooden spoon to smash the cherries down, so it all melds together. Add fresh basil. Cover and allow the calamari to cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and good Italian bread.

Buon appetito!

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