Stuffed Calamari

I was talking to my mate Campbel the other night, she recently moved to Darwin with her hubby Matt for work.  She’s an Adelaide/Melbourne girl and is missing winter comfort food, she told me. It was a timely reminder for me – don’t forget your northern friends and neighbours in winter!  So I thought with the imminent official arrival of winter, I’d take us right back to summer with a seafood dish that’s finished on the barbie. While this dish does sing of summer flavours and ingredients, I have to say it went down very well on a cold Melbourne night last night with a glass of red on the couch watching the footy.

This dish is incredibly tasty, and if you’ve been intimidated in the past by cooking calamari, don’t be. Its very easy.  Get your fishmonger to do the hard work of cleaning the calamari for you.

This is from Tessa Kiros’ “Twelve” book. I’vehalved the quantities and added my own touch at the end: throwing the calamari on the barbie to give them a chargrilled finish.   If you’re in warmer climes, you can do this all on the barbecue.  Just put the oven dish on the barbie, turned up to high, and close the lid for the 30 minutes of baking time, then remove the calamari and finish on the barbie as below.

  • 3 calamari with tubes about 15-20 cm long
  • 6 medium sized green prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 anchovy fillets, chopped into small pieces
  • About 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup white wine

Preheat the oven to 200 c

Ask your fishmonger to clean the calamari and separate the tubes from the tentacles, but keep the tentacles.

When you get them home, wash them well.  Discard the piece with the transparent bone, if the fishmonger has given you that as well.

Finely chop the tentacles and the prawn meat (you can pulse this in a food processor if you wish) and mix in a bowl with the breadcrumbs, garlic, anchovy and parsley.  Add some pepper, you shouldn’t need salt as the anchovies are salty enough.  Add the egg and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and mix well.

Stuff the mixture into the cleaned squid tubes with a narrow dessert spoon, and seal with a metal skewer.

Put a flameproof oven dish on the stove and heat the remaining olive oil. Fry the calamari on both sides until brown.  Add the wine and about half a cup of water and transfer to the oven.

Cook for 30 minutes and turn them over once.

Remove the skewers and brown them all over on the barbecue. Pour over any excess pan juices, and a squeeze of lemon.


This is absolutely gagging for a glass of reisling. A personal favourite is the Leeuwin Estate Art Series Reisling, which runs to about $20 at Dan’s. Lovely mineral and citrus flavours with well-balanced acid to cut through the richness of the prawns without overpowering the fresh lightness of the squid.

Another excellent and slightly cheaper option is Pewsey Vale’s Eden Valley Reisling, which can be had for less than $15. Slightly more floral than the Leeuwin, it’s also an excellent example of a minerally reisling with a lovely clean finish.


2 thoughts on “Stuffed Calamari

  1. Ros May 31, 2010 at 7:02 am Reply

    This food sounds like my idea of heaven Bec!

  2. Campbel Giles May 31, 2010 at 4:36 pm Reply

    Thanks Bec! This is perfect. The ‘cooler’ weather has now arrived but its still 28 degrees but lower humidity thank goodness!

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