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Sauteed Squid
I’ve mentioned before that “Le Mani In Pasta” was our favorite local restaurant when my husband and I lived in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood. It has remained so on all my visits back in the last six years.  I’ve never had a disappointing dish there – from the fish to the meats to the pastas and desserts. Their mussels and clams in a winey broth is hard to beat and I always order it as a first course, not just because it tastes so great, but because it also takes me back to an idyllic time in my life.
 On this last visit, I went with a couple of friends, and one of them – Kathryn  – ordered the sauteed squid. Of course I had to have a taste, and that was all I needed to know that it was perfect – not tough, not undercooked, just simply and expertly cooked. I love battered and fried squid rings as much as the next gal, but it’s nice to eat squid a different way too. One of my favorite methods (a Christmas eve requirement) is stuffed squid baked in a tomato sauce. You can find that recipe here.  At Le Mani In Pasta, the squid was neither deep fried nor baked in tomato sauce – just prepared with a light coating of fine bread crumbs and a quick saute in olive oil. A squirt of lemon juice at the end imparts the perfect acidic touch. I tried to duplicate the dish at home, and while it wasn’t exactly the same, it was close, and it did bring back a little bit of la bella Roma for a brief moment.
Start with the squid. It’s easy enough to find already cleaned at the fish market. I cut it into small pieces, but you can choose to leave the bodies whole if you like.
Place the pieces on a plate smeared with olive oil and some salt. Flip the squid pieces to coat with the olive oil, then sprinkle some fine bread crumbs all over.
Heat a heavy skillet, place a few tablespoons of olive oil into the pan, then add the squid pieces, cooking briefly for a few minutes on each side. Don’t worry if the pieces curl as you’re cooking. It’s hard to avoid that so just press it down with a fork or spatula.
Serve with a squirt of lemon juice and a sprinkling of minced parsley.
This Post Has 13 Comments
  1. Oh this looks yummy Linda, it just looks so tender! I bought some calamari steaks a week ago and din't know what I was going to do with them so I ended up grilling them, next time I will make it your way.

  2. I'm always so afraid to saute calamari as I know the difference between making it tender or tough and chewy is a matter of milli seconds. Like you, I usually prepare calamari long simmered in tomato sauce. I'll try to be brave and try this the next time I buy a a pound, as it looks so good, as does the assorted shellfish in your second photo! My favorite kind of food!

  3. As much as I like squid I have never prepared it at home. This looks like a delicious recipe, Linda, and the next time I see it in the fish market I'm going to try it. I would guess squid is like clams and will get tough if its overcooked.

  4. Having just spent a week visiting places that evoked my childhood, I am so touched by ways of hearkening back to sweet times. What a pleasure to see squid not fried. It is so hard to come by in MN, but I want a crack at this and will keep my eyes open for some squid to try this.

  5. I put the sautéed squid over a bed of fresh arugula and it worked really well. I added a side of garlic bread made with a crusty Italian bread. My kids enjoyed it a lot as well. Thank you for this simple yet delicious way to prepare squid.

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