Calamaretti is a small, tender squid and is white-skinned firm seafood. The most important, however the preparation, is the cleaning. To fry this squid, they must be small, no longer than a finger in length. However, if you buy larger ones, you may cut them in half. The biggest ones are best in stews (Veneciana style, with white wine, etc.) or stuffed, because they are firmer.
You are going to see that there is a large difference between small squid and the biggest ones, which are always less tender. The tube of the squid has a transparent membrane, called a feather, that you can remove with your fingers, to avoid splashing when frying and to prevent burns. Remove the small eyes with your fingers, and with your nails pull off the dark skin that covers them. Once finished with these tasks, rinse and dry the calamaretti with a clean dish towel.
Then, remove the top part of the calamaretti: the tentacles, in order to clean them easier. Avoid the calamaretti with violet skin, ones that do not look fresh and those that are difficult to clean due to soft contexture.
1 – Once cleaned, rinsed and drained, dry the squid with a clean dish towel.
2 – In a plate of flour, add and cover a handful of calamaretti at a time. Shake them to eliminate excess flour.
3 – Heat a pan with abundant oil on the stovetop and when you see the oil move as if trembling, add the calamaretti little by little, spacing them well in the pan.
4 – Once browned, remove them and place them in a dish with absorbent paper and sprinkle them with fine salt immediately, to prevent them from becoming moist. The cooking time must be quick because of their small size.
5 – When the frying is done, serve immediately. They can be accompanied with lemon slices.
It is important to watch the oil, when cooking. If you notice that it smokes too much, lower the heat because burnt oil results in a bad taste, and if the oil is cold when you add the calamaretti, you will only achieve soaked calamarettis and they will appear boiled.
When you finish frying, let the pan cool to the side and then strain the oil without letting the dark sediment pass through. Keep the oil in a cool place to use it at another time. It is not convenient to use it more than twice.
Ingredients (makes 4 to 6 servings)
- 1,200 to 1,500kg of Calamaretti
- Frying oil
- Flour (enough necessary for calamaretti)