Basilberry recipes

Stuffed Squid

Stuffed Squid Recipe


Ingredients for Stuffed Squid
Preparation time: 30 min + 60 min
Cooking time: 25 min
Persons: 4
Difficulty: Average/High
Cost: Average

Squid is a popular seafood and often referred to as calamari which is the original italian name of a very popular culinary dish. Stuffing the squid is one way to prepare the calamari but battered, deep-fried or squid used in sushi, sashimi and tempura is also very common. In many countries around the Mediterranean Sea, squid is eaten in dishes such as paella, risotto, soups and pasta with many possible varieties. This stuffed calamari recipe begins with the cleaning of the squid which is a precise and messy job but will pay off in the end! Prepare this stuffed squid recipe for a fancy dinner and make a great impression. If it's your first time preparing a calamari dish make sure to reserve about an hour for the cleaning of the squid and you will be just fine!
    For the Stuffed Squid:
  • Garlic
    2 cloves
  • Olive oil
    extra vergin, 3 tablespoons
  • Parsley
    2 tablespoons
  • Squid
    fresh, 500 gr
  • Wine
    white, a splash
    For the Stuffing:
  • Anchovies
    6 fillets
  • Breadcrumbs
    whole wheat, 120 gr
  • Eggs
  • Garlic
    2 cloves
  • Olive oil
    extra vergin, 3 tablespoons
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
    30 gr
  • Parsley
    2 tablespoons
  • Pepper
    ground, to season
  • Salt
    to season
  • Wine
    white, a splash



Start preparing the breadcrumbs and when using whole wheat bread slices undo them of their crusts and dice them up. Keep the breadcrumbs aside with the other ingredients and start cleaning the squid.

Take one squid at a time and place it on a cutting board. Grasp the head and pull gently, twisting if necessary, away from the body. The internal body, the slimy thread attached to the head, will come with it. After the entrails, the slimy thread attached to the head of the squid, have been retrieved from the mantle we have to remove the cuttlebone of the squid. Inside the body, you will feel a long, thin sliver of cuttlebone.

This sliver of cuttlebone must be removed and discarded. Grab a bowl to further clean the mantle in case you have failed to retrieve all the entrails from the mantle when pulling of the head.

Grab the mantle and use your fingers, or a teaspoon, to clean out the inside but be careful not to break the ink sac in case you have not taken it out yet because the ink sac will be in the innards. It is thin and silvery, about one inch long and 1/16th in width. When cleaned carefully pull away the skin of the squid by scratching the surface of the skin with your finger nails.

When cleaned and stripped completely of the outer skin put aside the body tube of the squid and move on to the squid's head.

The tentacles of the squid are perfectly edible so sever them from the head just below the eyes. Remove and discard the beak from the center of the tentacles by squeezing it out.

The beak is placed in between the eyes of the squid and its tentacles so when cutting the tentacles off you can get it out by carefully squeezing the half where you can see it sticking out. Having removed the beak and the head of the squid the beak-less tentacles are ready to be washed and cleaned together with the body tube.

Hold the body tube of the squid under running water and wash both the inside and the outside very carefully. Some of the remaining outer colored skin can be rubbed from the body tube under running water, leaving the white meat. Wash the tentacles as well.

We have now cleaned the squid and we can start preparing the stuffed calamari. Undo the squid of its pockets and keep them to the side.

The cleaned squid tubes can be kept aside to stuff later on. Cut the pockets and the tentacles into small bits and chop them up finely.

Add the body tubes and the bowl of squid tentacles and pockets to the rest of the ingredients and clean your working space. Start preparing the squid stuffing by cleaning 6 anchovy fillets.

Hold the fillets under running water and chop them up finely. It is not necessary to remove all of the bones but if you wish to do so you can use your fingers or carefully scrape with a knife along the sides of the anchovies. Put the chopped anchovies in a small bowl and grab the 2 garlic cloves intended for the stuffing.

Finely chop the cloves of garlic and put a saucepan on the heat. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the finely chopped garlic.

Add the chopped anchovies and stir with a wooden spoon. Add the bowl of squid tentacles and pockets as soon as the anchovies start to melt away. Blend with a splash of wine, less than half a glass.

Stir with a wooden spoon. Pour a little bit of lukewarm water in a bowl for the breadcrumbs to gently soak in.

At the same time finely chop the parsley, you will need 2 tablespoons, and keep both ready to add to the mixture.

Squeeze out the soaked breadcrumbs and crumble the bread in the pan with the pieces of squid. Next, add the chopped parsley and stir. Turn off the heat.

Pour the mixture in a mixing bowl and add the 2 eggs.

Season with salt and pepper. Grate the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and add as well.

Blend in all the ingredients by stirring with a spoon. You have now prepared the stuffing for the squid. Use a teaspoon or a piping bag to fill the calamari, the last option being by far the best.

Pour the mixture in a piping bag and use a string to close it at the end to avoid the mixture from leaking out while stuffing the calamari. Once stuffed, use a toothpick to close the stuffed calamari. Be very careful to stuff only 3/4 of the squid's body tube and to leave some space between the stuffed part and the toothpick because otherwise the calamari will burst during cooking time!

Put the stuffed calamari on a plate and heat a saucepan. Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the remaining 2 cloves of garlic, pealed.

Gently put the calamari in the pan together with the garlic and gently fry until golden. Turn carefully from time to time and blend in a splash of wine, again little less than half a glass.

Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. When passed, turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper.

Add the 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley intended to garnish the squid and plate up your stuffed calamari!
Cooking Tips:

Make sure to leave some space between the toothick and the stuffed squid tube when closing it. When the calamari is too stuffed it will burst during cooking time and the filling will leak out of the tube. When this happens you can still serve the leaked filling as a sauce.

Use a trasparent piping bag to be able to see how much filling you are using and close it at the end to avoid the filling from leaking.

Reserve enough time, about an hour, to clean the squid. When cleaning the squid try pulling off the head of the squid together with the entrails, this will keep you from getting extra cleaning work later on and not having to clean as much with your fingers.

Be careful not to break the sliver of cuttlebone when pulling it out of the mantle. Again, this will keep you from getting extra cleaning work later on and not having to search for pieces of cuttlebone inside the squid.

Leftover squid tubes can be chopped up in rings, covered in egg batter and flour to be fried in oil and served like a tempura.

Don't overcook the calamari or they will become rubbery.