Squid is a very popular food in Italy, and it comes in many shapes and sizes with many different names: calamari, calamaretti, totani, seppie, etc.
Calamari are small squid, and when they are served battered and fried, they are one of the most classic Italian summer seafood dishes: crisp golden rings of tender squid that people eagerly squeeze lemon wedges over, and eat quickly while they're still hot -- and before everyone else gobbles them up!
It's important to buy very fresh squid and to fry it quickly, at high heat, to prevent the squid, which is naturally meltingly tender, from becoming tough and rubbery.
They're usually served quite simply, with just lemon wedges and a light sprinkling of sea salt, but you can also serve them with a dipping sauce such as cocktail sauce, garlicky aioli, a simple tomato sauce, or a spicy ketchup.
This recipe would pair well with a dry white wine or rose' (such as Bardolino Chiaretto), or Aperol Spritzes for a lovely summertime antipasto or aperitivo. It's also a great finger food for a cocktail party. Although it looks impressive, it's actually super-quick and simple to make.
- 1 pound (about 450 grams) squid rings (slice the squid bodies into rings)
- A neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke-point, for deep frying (such as peanut oil or refined coconut oil)
- 4 medium eggs
- 2/3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons semolina flour
- 1 lemon (cut into wedges)
- Fine sea salt
- Gather the ingredients.
- Rinse the squid pieces in running water and pat them completely dry with paper towels.
- Heat several inches of the oil in a large, high-walled, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F or until a small cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in about 30 seconds.
- Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Lightly beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Place the semolina in a small bowl. Dredge the calamari rings in the flour, shaking them to remove excess. Dip the floured rings in the egg, and then in the semolina, and fry them in the hot oil, in several batches to avoid overcrowding, until crisp and light golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Using a fine-mesh spider or a slotted spoon, transfer the fried calamari to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Season to taste with salt, and serve them at once with lemon wedges.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|