Nonna’s Sicilian-style calamari ripieni (stuffed)

Serves Icon
Time 50 Minutes
  • 4 medium-sized calamari (about 800g each)
  • 2 tablespoons (40g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 15g white wine vinegar
  • Sea salt freshly ground black pepper
Sicilian calamari stuffing
  • 100g ripe cherry tomatoes, chopped (alternately use canned chopped tomatoes, drained)
  • 1 small clove garlic finely chopped
  • 150g dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons (40g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 salted capers, rinsed, drained, chopped
  • 15g pine nuts, finely chopped
  • 15g pistachio kernels, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mint finely chopped
  • Sea salt

How to Make It
Step 1

Preheat the oven to 200°C conventional oven/ 180°C fan-forced (400° Fahrenheit/Gas 6). Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Step 2

To clean the calamari, remove the insides by grasping the tube body and pulling the tentacles from the body. Cut off the tentacles of the calamari in one piece and set aside. Discard the insides and head of the calamari. Push the tentacles outwards, removing the beak at the base of the tentacles and discard. Remove the backbone (a thin, clear sliver of cartilage) from the tube of the calamari by holding onto the backbone and pulling it from the calamari tube. Lastly remove the calamari skin by running your fingers underneath the skin, then peeling it off. Remove the skin from the wings, body tube and tentacles and discard skin. Rinse the cavity well and pat dry.

Tip: To save time, ask your local fishmonger to clean the calamari for you.

Step 3

Use a sharp knife to separate the wings and tentacles from body of the calamari. Cut each of the calamari 3/4 down the front. Set aside.

Step 4

To make the filling, place all ingredients of the Sicilian calamari stuffing into a mixing bowl. Stir and mix with your hands to combine. If the mixture is too dry and does not come together, add a little more olive oil.

Step 5

Stuff one of the calamari tubes with the Sicilian calamari stuffing, using a teaspoon to push it down into the bottom of the tube. Place the stuffed calamari onto the prepared baking tray. Repeat with the remaining calamari.

Step 6

Season the calamari tentacles and wings with salt and pepper and arrange them around the calamari ripieni in the prepared baking tray. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the calamari ripieni (stuffed calamari), tentacles and calamari wings.

Step 7

Bake uncovered for 15 minutes then remove from the oven. Drizzle the white wine vinegar over the calamari and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the calamari are soft and tender. Serve immediately – buon appetito.

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