Calamari / by Anthony Michael Contrino

Photo by Matt Wagemann

Photo by Matt Wagemann

I'm pretty sure every single one of my family parties starts with a heaping plate of calamari - or as Sicilian-Americans call it, gah-la-mahd.  (C's are often pronounced as G's in Sicilian dialects.)  However, it is rare that we make them at home.  Aside from having to fry, they are quite possibly one of the easiest dishes to make.  Most supermarkets and seafood stores already take care of the cleaning, so all you have to do is some slicing and frying.

Fried Calamari // Serves 4 

1 pound squid with tentacles, cleaned, bodies cut into 1/2” rounds, patted dry

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Flakey sea salt, for serving

Lemons, for serving

Marinara sauce, for serving

Fresh parsley, for garnish

Canola oil, for frying

Fill a heavy bottomed stock pot with a few inches of the canola oil.  Bring the oil to 350 degrees.  (If you have a thermometer, now is the time to use it.)  

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper; mix. Toss the squid in the flour mixture. Shake off any excess.  Fry the squid in small batches until light golden brown, about 2-4 minutes. Use a spider or slotted spoon to transfer the squid onto a plate lined with paper towels.  Season the calamari with sea salt.  Plate the calamari and serve with lemons and marinara sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Photo by Matt Wagemann

Photo by Matt Wagemann