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Stuffed Calamari ©

April 4, 2013



This  is a lenten dish, but can be eaten all the year round and really brings out the taste of the calamari.(calamari is the Italian name for ‘Squid’ in English). You can buy big or small calamari, fresh or frozen. I chose some small fresh ones as I thought they would be more tender, they were just a bit more fiddly to fill. They make a perfect lenten meal, or as part of the meal at the ‘Clean Monday Feast.’ This marks the beginning of lent in Greece.

This is for Flora who inspired me to make “Stuffed Calamari.” She made them for us on ‘Clean Monday,’ when she was a student in my  ‘Cooking Class.’



Stuffed Calamari ©




6-8 Persons





These quantities filled 13 five centimeter calamari.If you have medium to big Calamari you must double up the quantities.

2 Calamari per person if small,  if big 1  per person

8 Spring Onions

1 Bunch Fennel Leaves from the fennel bulb (Maratho from Marathoriza ) or Wild Fennel (Maratho) or Dill ( Anitho )

1 chili ( Optional )

4 tbs of patna rice (Greek Glace) or other rice of your choice. Basmati also works  very well.

(You can calculate 1 tbs of  uncooked rice per 2-3 medium Calamari. My 4 tbs filled 13 small 5 cm Calamari )

1 Carton of ‘Pommaro’ Tomato purée, or a tin of chopped tomatoes, passed through a sieve or blender

2 tbs Olive oil

Salt Pepper



1. Buy fresh Calamari from your reliable fishmonger, or choose a packet of medium sized to small frozen Calamari from the Supermarket.

2. Leave over night on a plate to de-frost at room temperature, or a quicker method is to soak them in salted water, when they will take much less time to de-frost.

3. Wash very thoroughly inside and out. Place fingers inside and pull out the hard long strip of Cartilage. Then cut the tentacles off and reserve. What is left is the head, eyes and body. Some leave the head and cut away the eyes. I pull the head, eyes and inner body away altogether, leaving the tube of the Calamari for stuffing and the tentacles, which I chop and add to the stuffing.(See pictures.)Drain in Colander.

4. Chop spring onions and herbs finely and gently fry, together with chopped Calamari tentacles in a frying pan for ten minutes.

5. Add rice and 50ml ( small glass ) of water or purée tomato. Fry for another five minutes until water has reduced and you have a sloppy stuffing.

6. Using a small teaspoon, stuff the tubes of your Calamari 2/3 full. No more as the rice will swell and pin closed with a tooth-pick. See photograph below.

7. Place in oven-proof dish. Drizzle with tomato olive oil and any left over stuffing. It is a good idea to combine these first and then pour over.

8. Place in pre-heated oven at 200.C/ 400.F covered with tin foil for 20 minutes. Uncover and allow to just brown a little before serving.

N.B Like all sea food the fresher the better and as soon as you buy them you should cook them!



This is what you are aiming for.

Stuffed Calamari ©

Stuffed Calamari.


Stuffed Calamar ©

This is how your Calamari will look like when you buy it.


Stuffed Calamar ©

Here it shows I have cut off the tentacles, removed the long piece of cartilage from inside the body, and am pulling on the head and inner body to remove and discard. Some keep the head on and add the ink from  the eyes, to the sauce!

Stuffed Calamar ©

Now pull away the skin.


Stuffed Calamar ©

Leave Calamari tubes and tentacles to drain in colander.


Stuffed Calamar ©

Lay Calamari out, ready for stuffing.


Stuffed Calamar ©

Take tentacles and chop for stuffing.


Stuffed Calamar ©

Chop your spring onions and fennel or dill leaves.


Skinning and De-Seeding Tomatoes ©

If using fresh tomato, cut a small cross in the upper, non-stalk end of the tomato and plunge into boiling water.

Skinning and De-Seeding Tomatoes ©

Chop tomato into cubes.


Stuffed Calamar ©

Place spring onions, chopped Calamari tentacles, in frying pan with olive oil and gently fry for ten minutes. After five minutes of frying, add 4 tbs of water.

Stuffed Calamar ©

The Calamari tentacles will turn pink.


Stuffed Calamar ©

Simmer gently.


Stuffed Calamar ©

Add cubed tomato.


Stuffed Calamar ©

Add 2 Greek Coffee cups ( 4 Tbs.) full of rice. I have chosen ‘Patna/Glace Rice.’ Basmati is also very good.


Stuffed Calamari ©

Simmer for another five minutes, or until liquid is reduced and fairly thick.


Stuffed Calamari ©

Stuff Calamari using a teaspoon no more than 2/3 rds full, because you need to leave room for the rice to expand during cooking.


Stuffed Calamari ©

Close ends by passing your tooth-pick in and out of both layers of Calamari.


Stuffed Calamari ©

Surround with any left over stuffing and drizzle with olive oil and pureed whole tomatoes. ( Pommaro )

Stuffed Calamari ©

Add a hot pepper or Chili on top, cover oven-proof dish with tin foil and place in pre-heated oven 200.C/400.F.

Stuffed Calamari ©

After 20 minutes cooking, your Calamari will have swollen. Remove tin-foil, baste and leave for another 5-10 minutes

to brown just a little.

Ready to serve.

Stuffed Calamari ©


3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2013 9:03 pm

    Just made these for dinner tonight. Great recipe and very easy to follow.


  2. March 12, 2017 7:57 pm

    Reblogged this on What's Cooking In Jane's Kitchen and commented:

    If you never knew how to do this…..try!


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