Italian Fried Calamari with Marinara Basil Sauce

Friday, December 18, 2009
One of my favorite appetizers is Calamari. We love it simple, lightly coated with a basil marinara sauce to dip it in. Here below is the most recent updated photo  in 2011

Coating for the Calamari

Fried squid (fried calamari, calamari) is a dish in Mediterranean cuisine.

It has a seasoned floured coating. A deep fried squid, fried for less than two minutes to prevent toughness.

It is served with marinara sauce, plain or with salt and lemon on the side, recipe below.

You can use any fish you like using the same coating.

Fried Calamari is a lot easier to make at home than you might think!

This recipe has a crispy floured coating that fries perfectly to a golden brown crunch.

Easy Ingredients

Fried calamari rings just like at the restaurant are easy to make at home with ingredients you likely have on hand.

This appetizer is made every Christmas Eve in our Italian traditional feast of 7 fishes.

Italian Fried Calamari with Marinara Basil Sauce

1 pound clean Squid/Calamari with tentacles, bodies cut into 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick rings or strips, leave tentacles whole or cut in half. Be sure to blot dry.

1 cups all-purpose flour plus 3 tablespoons of cornstarch

1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder

2 tablespoons dried parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 large plastic bag

Dipping sauce

1 cup fresh marinara sauce recipe below.

Pour enough oil into a heavy large saucepan or electric fry pan, to reach the depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium heat to 350 degrees F. Mix the flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, parsley, salt, and pepper in a large bag. Working in small batches, shake the squid into the flour mixture to coat. Carefully add the squid to the oil and fry until crisp and very pale golden, about 1 minute per batch. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the fried calamari to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

Place the fried calamari on paper towels to absorb oil. Sprinkle with lots of grating cheese. Serve with the marinara sauce and fresh basil.

Marinara Sauce

2 pounds of plum tomatoes cleaned and put in food processor, leave a little chunky.

2 minced fine cloves of garlic plus 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, oregano, and parsley

4 fresh basil leaves

Cook tomato down around 1/2 hour with all herbs except fresh basil.

Add the basil in the bowl after the sauce has cooked.

More Favorites

Holiday Honey Glazed Ham
Fried Turkey
Brined Smoked Turkey Breast
 Traditional Italian Recipes and 7 Fishes
The Story of Traditional 7 Fishes


  1. Oh we have SO much in common coming from Italian families. What is better than this on Christmas Eve (besides all the other fish)!!

  2. hey, what time do we eat....great looking squid...

  3. That looks like perfectly crisp calamari! I would love to be at your house around Christmas - what a feast.

  4. You gave me a great idea for an appetizer to my party next week....Okay--heading out to the asian store and grab these squid babies..ciao!

  5. Beautiful calamari, you just made me realized I haven't had those for a longtime! now I really want some, eventhough it's 7am!

  6. Yay, I'm so glad you're posting your feast of the fishes recipes! I love a lightly breaded calamari too. Who doesn't love a good feast? ; )

  7. mmm, i love calamari! yours looks perfectly fried.

  8. This is how we make it, it's my very favorite way to make calamari, this is a great coating recipe...I love the way the tentacles get all crisp.

  9. thank you all for a giving me those compliments they are all greatly appreciated!

  10. We love calamari, and yours look absolutely beautiful! I have never made calamari at home, but now I may!

  11. WOW looks divine! crisp, tender, crunchy, juicy ... We're not Italian but we're having seafood just because it makes so much sense in Summer in Australia and it's the best of seasonal here then - berries and cherries for dessert *smiles*

    Thanks for sharing - found you from twitter @frombecca

  12. Your calamari is so inviting, but alas I need to watch out on my cholesterol level!

  13. Aunt Fay made these on Christmas Eve - I am loving this. Yours looks so delicious - I want to eat at your home.

  14. This is one for my favorites too! I'll be preparing 8lbs of this on Christmas eve! Never used the corn starch with the flour.

  15. Hey Pisan! I'm glad you're doing Calmari! My boyfriend's Dad is Sicilian but he wants sausage for Christmas Eve so my traditional 7 fishes was shot down, but I got a baccala salad on the menu! Ciao!

  16. It's been so long that I've had it fried that I've forgotten about that form.....................I could practically taste those treats just looking at them.

  17. Fried calamari was one of my papà's favorites. I'll never forget the first time he finally was able to eat calamari in this country after having gone so long with out them. It was a celebration. Fried calamari is are so good as long as you don't overcook --who wants fried rubberbands, right? Your calamari look perfect.


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