Basically, you can be assured that if my family is eating dinner at an Italian restaurant of any consequence, and there is calamari on the menu, it will be ordered, consumed, and enjoyed in typical Poe family fashion. My boys LOVE calamari!
I wanted to do calamari for an appetizer before my pasta main course tonight. When I walked in my friendly neighborhood Publix and asked for squid, i did get some looks. The seafood chic kindly escorted me to the freezer where the frozen squid live. She looked at me questionably as she handed me the package of freezin' cold squid. It was 2 lbs. of squid and tentacles for about $15. Remembering the price of a calamari appetizer, the $15 seemed like a bargain. This would make enough for about 8 people
So the day you want to cook the calamari you need to thaw them in some cool water for a couple hours.
Here's the recipe: serves 6-8
Olive oil or canola for deep frying
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. calamari, cleaned (you can fry the tentacles too if you like) That is my hubs favorite part!
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. dry breadcrumbs (I use Progresso Italian)
1/2 t. salt
Marinara sauce (recipe below)
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and line a rimmed baking tray with paper towels.
Pour enough oil in a large, deep saucepan to come about a third of the way up the sides and heat to 350.
Cut the calamari crosswise into 1/4 inch thick rings in a medium mixing bowl. combine the flour, breadcrumbs, and salt.
In batches, add the calamari to the flour mixture and toss just to coat. Add the coated calamari to the oil and deep fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Do not crowd the calamari in the oil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the calamari to the baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while frying the remainder. Let the oil reheat to 350 between batches. Put it on a platter and serve with marinara.
Good can of San Marzano tomatoes (such as Cento)
small can tomato paste
1 t. fresh or dried basil
break the tomatoes apart into pieces in your pot. add the tomato paste and let it simmer for 25-30 min. Add basil last. Serve with the above calamari, or mozzarella sticks, or as a base for your favorite pasta sauce.