Calamari With Garlic Sauce Recipe

Did you know that there are nearly 300 species of squid? About 30 of them are commercially fished, including calamari.

You can talk about calamari with garlic sauce, breaded and fried, chopped up in a salad, served in a stew, and a dozen other variations. These recipes come from various regions of the Mediterranean.

Italians in particular know how to cook calamari without breading. Whether it is tossed in a tomato sauce or cooked slowly in a garlic, parsley, and olive oil infusion, these little guys are always a hit.

If you love calamari, then you’re going to love this mouth-watering calamari recipe! It features garlic, parsley, and olive oil, all of which are guaranteed to please. This dish is easy to make and can be prepared in just a few minutes.

Here is a simple calamari recipe that guarantees to please.

Calamari vs. Cuttlefish vs. Chipriones

Here in Spain, there are a few different types of calamari. The most common ones are calamari, sepia, and chipirones. There are subtle differences between them, but there are important distinctions because the differences impact the final product.

These differences are good to know because they can get identified as calamari at the store. You could think you’re buying calamari, but you’re really getting something else entirely.

Sepia is the same thing as cuttlefish.  Cuttlefish is a little smaller in length but wider than a calamaro. The cuttlefish has 10 tentacles whereas calamari have two tentacles and eight arms.

They share the same defense mechanisms. They can change color and use ink to defend themselves against predators.

Calamari are rich in vitamin C, iron, and calcium. Cuttlefish have zinc and iodine but do contain higher levels of cholesterol.  

Here’s a fun fact: Calamari that we know in the U.S. is the Italian word for squid in the plural form. The singular word for calamari is calamaro (assuming it’s a male).

Cuttlefish is generally used in soups and paella. Calamari are found in dishes that don’t require a lot of cooking time. That’s because calamari get rubbery if cooked too long.

Cuttlefish stay tender when cooked for a long time.

What are chipirones? They’re a type of squid, usually small squid or baby cuttlefish. People tend to prefer chipirones because they’re tender and a little sweeter than calamari and sepia.

Here in Spain, you’ll see them fried with almond flour. That’s tasty, but there’s another recipe that I absolutely love.

That’s what I’m about to share with you in this post. This is a very quick and simple recipe that you can have ready in less than 30 minutes. Seriously, give it a try.

Ingredients for Calamari With Garlic Sauce

500 grams of Calamari (about a pound)

¼ c Olive oil + 1 Tbsp

2 Tbsp Parsley (fresh or dried)

3 Cloves of fresh garlic

1 C of Dried Rice

Instructions:

Cook the cup of rice in a rice cooker or pot according to the instructions on the package.

Put the parsley, garlic, and olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Mix well and let it sit for a bit to blend the flavors.

Clean the calamari and set it aside.

Take a frying pan and put it over high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Once heated, add the calamari.

They’ll cook and release a lot of liquid. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. The calamari will turn from translucent to white.

Add the oil/parsley/garlic mix. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and serve over rice.

How to Clean Calamari

You may have to clean calamari if you buy them whole. The first step is to remove the head from the body. This is done by cutting below the eyes.

You may have to clean calamari if you buy them whole. There are three parts to the squid – the body, the head, and the innards.

The first step is to remove the head from the body. You can pull the tentacles away from the body. The head and innards should come out pretty easily.

Leave the body as is for the moment. You can cut the tentacles from the head because they’re edible. They’re great to add to this dish. Remove the cartilage from the tentacles after you cut them away from the head.

 You can discard the innards, but there is squid ink there. You can cut the sac that contains the ink and add it to another dish like risotto or paella. Just use gloves because the ink stains everything.

There’s also cartilage in the body. Be sure to remove this by grasping the body and pulling the cartilage out.

You can keep the skin on or peel it off the body. It only impacts the look of the dish, not the flavor.

You’ll want to give the calamari an additional rinse under cold running water.

Did you buy calamari frozen or already cleaned? You’ll just need to rinse them under running water for a minute or so.

Most calamari recipes have you cut the body in rings. We’re not going to do that in this recipe. We’re going to leave them whole.

Serving Instructions

I like to serve this dish over rice, but you don’t have to. It’s common to serve calamari like this on a plate with nothing else or over a couple of leaves of lettuce.

I prefer rice because it soaks up the flavors of the sauce and makes it more of a meal than an appetizer.

For a complete meal, you can serve it with a nice tomato salad and a glass of wine. It’s a light meal that’s perfect for warm weather.

You can go either way when you make this dish. The main thing to do is enjoy it!

Calamari With Garlic Sauce

This is a simple, mouth-watering calamari recipe that's sure to please. If you're looking for a quick and tasty calamari without breading recipe, check this one out.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer, dinner
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean, Spanish
Keyword: calamari with garlic, calamari with garlic sauce
Servings: 2
Author: Heather McDaniel

Equipment

  • 1 Frying pan
  • 1 Cutting board
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 Small mixing bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound Calamari Cleaned
  • 1/4 C Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Parsley Dried or fresh
  • 3 Cloves Fresh garlic Chopped
  • 1 C Rice Cook according to package instructions

Instructions

  • Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package.
  • Chop the garlic and mix with olive oil and parsley in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Clean the calamari and leave the bodies whole.
  • Take a pan and put it over high heat. Add about 1 tablespoonof olive oil to the pan. Once heated, add the calamari.
  • They’ll cook and release a lot of liquid. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. The calamari will turn from translucent to white.
  • Addthe oil/parsley/garlic mix. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Remove from heat and serve over rice.

A Classic Calamari Garlic Sauce Recipe

It’s not always easy to find a calamari without breading recipe. Most call for this tender seafood to get breaded and fried. This calamari with garlic sauce recipe adds a lot of flavor and fun that you can cook in less than half an hour.

All you need is a bit of garlic, olive oil, and parsley. That’s it.

Do you want more Mediterranean Diet recipes and tips? Check out the other articles on the blog today.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather McDaniel is the founder of Invincible Women Fitness Academy, and a nationally certified fitness and nutrition coach. Inspired by her Italian roots and living in Spain, she loves to explore and share the benefits of the Mediterranean Lifestyle. She works with women all over the world, helping them rediscover their strength, health, and confidence.

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