Fried Calamari on a blue-rimmed white plate with bowls of marinara and lemon wedges.
Photography: Matt Wagemann – Art Direction & Food Styling: Anthony Contrino

I’m pretty sure every single one of my family parties starts with a heaping plate of calamari – or as Sicilian-Americans call it, gah-la-mahd.  However, it is rare that we make them at home.  Aside from having to fry, they are quite possibly one of the easiest dishes to make.  Most supermarkets and seafood stores already take care of the cleaning, so all you have to do is some slicing and frying.  Be careful to not overfry the calamari or they will become rubbery!

Fried Calamari

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound squid with tentacles, cleaned, bodies cut into 1/2” rounds, patted dry
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Flakey sea salt, for serving
  • Lemons, for serving
  • Marinara sauce, for serving
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Canola oil, for frying


  • Fill a heavy bottomed stock pot with a few inches of canola oil and heat to 350-degrees. (If you have a thermometer, now is the time to use it.)
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the flour, salt and pepper until well combined.
  • Toss the squid in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
  • Fry the squid in small batches until light golden brown, for 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer the squid onto a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Immediately season the calamari with sea salt.
  • Plate the calamari and serve with lemons and marinara sauce and garnish with fresh parsley.
Course: Appetizer, Seafood
Author: Anthony Michael Contrino