It’s one of my favorite food times of the year-calamari season! I absolutely love this delicious seafood creature.
Calamari is the Italian word for “squid” and is commonly used to describe a number of dishes that feature this sea animal. On its own, squid is typically a very healthful food. It is low in calories and free of saturated fats; it also contains a number of helpful omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed by many to improve overall health and reduce the risk of certain cardiovascular disorders like heart attacks. The tentacles typically contain fewer nutrients than the body, but both are generally high in protein and vitamin B12.
There are many ways of preparing and cooking squid, with every country and region having its own recipes. Fried squid appears in Mediterranean cuisine, in Lebanon, Syria, Italy and Turkey and it is served with a tartor sauce, in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, it is sold in fish and chip shops, and in North America, it is a staple in seafood restaurants.
So for this recipe, I thought I would make it the Mediterranean way, lightly fried and served with a delicious marinara sauce and a side of salad. And serve it with a nice glass of vino, of course!
This is a basic and very light Italian version other than the heavier American fried version. It is lightly coated with some seasoned flour and then drizzled with some fresh lemon juice. So simple, tasty and satisfying. Nothing heavy to overbear the great flavor, just a bit to enhance it. You may make the marina sauce the night before and just heat it right before serving.
Serve this with a marinara sauce for dipping, your favorite wine, great company and conversation and you are in heaven! And one other nice thing to do is to have some nice music playing in the background.( I love the Gypsy Kings) Now, you are in paradise!
Fried Calamari with Marinara Sauce
Ingredients: Serves 4
- vegetable or sunflower oil for frying
- 1 pound cleaned squid with tentacles, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- Freshly Ground Pepper and Salt
- 2 lemons, cut into wedges
- Marinara Sauce
- 28 ounces whole tomatoes such as San Marzano tomatoes
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- large pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil sprigs, finely chopped
Preparation for Calamari:
Pour enough oil into a heavy saucepan to reach 3 inches of depth.Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, parsley, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Working in small batches, toss the squid into the flour mixture to coat. Carefully shake off any excess. Carefully add the squid into the hot oil and fry for about 2 minutes. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper toweled plate, season with salt and place into a warm oven. Complete with remaining squid. Serve with the lemon and marinara sauce
Preparation for Marinara Sauce:
Pour tomatoes into a large bowl and crush with your hands.Pour 1 cup water into the can and slosh it around to gather up all of the remaining tomatoes juices. Place aside.
In a medium saucepan add the tomatoes. Add in the crushed garlic, chile pepper, salt, oregano and chopped basil. Simmer the sauce for for about 30-45 minutes to allow all the flavors to come together and to thicken.