When I’m in Whole Foods I always check out the seafood counter to see if they have fresh squid. I love a good sautèed calamari dish. It’s quick, easy and pretty healthy.
Sautèing is a great way to cook seafood because it’s really fast.
I love testing out different ways to cook my favorite foods. I’ve made calamari in many different ways. I’ve baked it, boiled it, and fried it. I strongly believe that sauteed calamari is my favorite.
I’m going to teach you a great calamari recipe. It’s got a nice little spicy kick to it.
How to Saute?
When you saute something you need high heat and a little oil or fat. It’s a way of cooking that is fast and makes your food very flavorful.
The average temperature for sauteing is around 350 degrees Fahrenheit and it is done in a shallow pan.
The Main Ingredients Needed for the Spicy Sauteed Sauteed Recipe
For this quick recipe you only need a few ingredients.
Squid. Like most calamari dishes, you can buy fresh calamari or frozen calamari. If you buy it frozen, look for calamari that is already cleaned.
No matter which type of squid you buy, it is made up of the body, which is a long tube and the tentacles, which are what people often refer to as the legs.
Olive Oil. We are going to be using olive oil as the fat to saute this dish. You can use extra virgin if you have it. You can also use a lighter olive oil with a higher smoke point.
Garlic. Use some fresh garlic cloves. A few garlic cloves will be enough for this recipe.
Seasoning. Keep it simple. Use Kosher salt and black pepper.
Calabrian Chili Pepper. For the heat I am using dried Calabrian chili peppers. They are a bit fruity and have a heat that is more flavorful than intense.
Parsley. I use parsley when I cook seafood. You can use fresh parsley if you have it. Dried parsley will work fine too.
Tomatoes. For this recipe you can use a can of crushed tomatoes or some tomato sauce if you have it made. If you have a favorite brand of tomato sauce from the grocery store, feel free to use it.
How to Make the Spicy Sauteed Squid
The first thing we have to do is prepare the calamari. Take the calamari tube and cut them into rings about a half inch wide.
Get a large frying pan and add a few tablespoons of oil. Use good olive oil. I like using a large pan so all of the calamari has enough room to touch the hot surface of the pan without overcrowding.
Put the pan on medium high heat and add your chopped garlic and the dried Calabrian chili pepper flakes. We want the garlic and Calabrian chili peppers to heat up slowly and flavor the oil. If you notice that the garlic is starting to cook too fast, turn the stove down to low heat to prevent it from burning. This step should take 2-3 minutes.
Pat your raw calamari with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Now add your raw calamari to the pan. Make sure you put in the calamari rings and tentacles.
Season the calamari with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
With the pan on medium heat, keep the calamari moving by tossing the pan or stirring it with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes.
When the calamari starts to become firm and develop a sear on the outside, add the tomato sauce and parsley. Let the calamari to simmer in the tomato sauce for another 3-4 minutes on medium high heat.
Taste the calamari during the process and put in some additional salt if needed.
Adjust the heat by adding more hot peppers if needed.
Transfer the cooked calamari and sauce to a serving dish and enjoy!
Spicy Sauteed Squid FAQs
I prefer a white sauce. Can I make it without tomato sauce?
Yes. Follow the same recipe, but instead of using tomato sauce, add white wine, butter and fresh lemon juice.
Can I turn this into a pasta dish?
Yes. Boil some spaghetti or linguine, drain it and add it right into the large skillet with the sauteed calamari. Toss it well so the pasta soaks up all of the sauce!
What if I can’t find dried Calabrian chili peppers?
If you don’t have dried Calabrian chili peppers feel free to use any red pepper flakes that you can find.
What can I do with leftover Spicy Sauteed Squid?
If you have leftover sauteed calamari, put it in an airtight container and freeze it or store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can boil some pasta and make another meal out of it.
What should I serve with the sauteed calamari?
Salad: A simple mixed green salad with a red wine vinaigrette.
Side Dish: Sauteed broccoli rabe with garlic and olive oil.
Wine: A crisp white will go well with this dish. Check out Etna Bianca from Sicily.
Bread: Get a nice loaf of crusty bread to mop up the sauce. .Print
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
I lb of cleaned squid, tubes and tentacles
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of dried Calabrian chili peppers
1 pint of tomato sauce
Salt and pepper
- Clean and cut the calamari into rings about a half inch wide.
- In a large frying pan, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil.
- Put the pan on medium high heat and add your chopped garlic and the dried Calabrian chili pepper flakes. Allow the garlic and Calabrian chili peppers to heat up slowly and flavor the oil. If the garlic is starting to cook too fast, turn the stove down to low heat to prevent it from burning. This should take 2-3 minutes.
- Pat your raw calamari with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Now add your raw calamari to the pan. Make sure you put in the calamari rings and tentacles.
- Season the calamari with salt and black pepper.
- With the pan on medium heat, keep the calamari moving by tossing the pan or stirring it with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes.
- When the calamari starts to become firm and develop a sear on the outside, add the tomato sauce and parsley. Let the squid simmer in the tomato sauce for another 3-4 minutes on medium high heat.
- Taste the calamari during the process and put in some additional salt if needed.
- Adjust the heat by adding more dried chili peppers if needed.
- Transfer the cooked squid and sauce to a plate and enjoy!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 10
- Category: Seafood
- Method: Sauteed