IMG_1599This is a very popular Italian way of preparing calamari or squid. You can use the whole calamari, tentacles, and bodies or just the tubes cut into rings. This is usually served as a starter with spicy marinara sauce but you could just as well use a sauce tartare. This way of preparing calamari really showcases the seafood itself as it does not have the thick batter often found with deep fried calamari in restaurants. Best of all, it is a really very easy. If you do not have a thermometer to test the oil temperature, no problem – use a piece of bread. My Italian grandmother taught me this trick and I still use it to this day. Drop a small piece of bread into the hot oil, if it sinks then the oil is too cold, if it turns black and burns immediately, the oil is too hot, but if it sizzles slowly and happily, your oil is just right.

Serves 6 as a starter


Vegetable oil for deep frying
450 g / 1 pound clean squid, cut into 1 cm / 1/2 inch thick rings
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 lemons, cut into wedges
Salt & freshly ground black pepper


In a large, heavy bottomed pan, add oil
Heat over medium high heat to 180 C / 35o F
In a large bowl, mix the flour, parsley, salt and pepper
Toss the squid into the flour to coat
Work in batches
Place the squid into the oil and fry until crisp and pale golden, about 3 minutes per batch
Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain
Continue until all cooked
Serve with the lemon wedges and your sauce of choice