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The Hirshon Sicilian Stuffed Squid - Calamari Ripieni

The Hirshon Sicilian Stuffed Squid – Calamari Ripieni

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  • Author: The Generalissimo


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds
  • 2 teaspoons ground fennel seed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 4 anchovy fillets, finely minced (Ortiz brand strongly preferred)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup fresh Pecorino Romano, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 large calamari tubes, cleaned
  • 1 quart tomato sauce, warmed to a simmer
  • 1/4 cup shredded basil leaves
  • Freshly grated Romano
  • Minced parsley for garnish


  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add onions, celery, and fennel and sauté until soft and translucent, 4-6 minutes. Add garlic, minced anchovy and crushed pepper and cook until garlic becomes fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  2. Deglaze with Marsala, and allow alcohol to alight, continuing to shake pan until flame subsides and alcohol is burned off. Remove mixture to food processor.
  3. Add oregano, capers, parsley, pine nuts, raisins, bread crumbs, lemon zest, Romano cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Process well until all ingredients are incorporated and a fine paste is achieved. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  4. Begin stuffing the calamari tubes by piping a small amount of stuffing through a pastry bag or hand-stuffing into the tube. Be sure not to over-stuff the tubes, or they may burst during cooking. There should be no stuffing at either ends of the tube, only in the middle. Once stuffed, use toothpicks to close tubes.
  5. To cook calamari, heat a large skillet with oil over high heat, and once smoking, add calamari tubes to pan and sear. When they’ve begun to brown, flip and brown other side. Transfer seared tubes to a pot of simmering tomato sauce, and cook for at least another 30 minutes. In the last 15 minutes, add basil.
  6. To serve, remove calamari from sauce, remove toothpicks and spoon some tomato sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh grated Romano and chopped parsley.
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