Jun 6, 2010


A perfect summer day is one with a clear blue sky, a warm feeling on your skin, a picnic in the park, flowers in bloom, sugar and spice and everything nice.... you get the picture. But, a perfect summer day also has it's perfect summer food- and to me, an inviting dish of calamari and shrimps enjoyed with a cool glass of white wine (or beer if you prefer) just makes the sunshine even more delicious. Wouldn't you agree? That's my idea of what summer feels and tastes like ...

... and here's what it looks like (in the kitchen) too!

Fresh herbs are a must! My basil pot and fragrant mint leaves came in handy...

I like to just throw calamari rings in a mixture of flour, cornstarch and salt for a crispy result minus the heavy feeling deep-frying can sometimes produce.

Calamari is nice, but with some shrimps it's even better...

And if you want to add an interesting visual twist to your dish, you can serve the calamari rings and shrimps on fried spaghetti! Since you'll be frying in the first place, you can throw in some spaghetti that will become golden strands in just about 10 seconds.

Voila, and there you have it. Fried calamari rings and shrimps bursting in a mixture of basil, mint, garlic and lemon!


This summery dish is really easy to make and a real crowd-pleaser, but I urge you to prepare the calamari rings yourself and not buy the ready-to-fry ones that come in the frozen-products aisles of supermarkets...

Calamari rings- get them from your fish monger
Flour mixed with cornstartch, salt and pepper (ratio 3/4 flour: 1/4 cornstartch)
Onion, chopped finely
Garlic, chopped finely
Fresh basil and mint, chopped
Lemon, juice of
Olive oil
Spaghetti (optional)
Lemon wedges to serve

For the calamari:
In a bowl, place the flour mixed with the cornstartch, salt and pepper. Then add calamari rings and ensure they are well coated with the flour mixture. Heat a deep pan with oil to fry, once ready, throw in the calamari rings and fry for 5-7 minutes. If you wish, at the end, you can fry some spaghetti for presentation (the spaghetti fries very quickly in a matter of seconds- so keep a close eye when doing this)

For the shrimps:
Chop the onion and garlic finely, set aside. Chop a generous amount of fresh mint and basil, set aside. Heat a large pan with some olive oil, add the onions and garlic on med-high heat until golden. Add the shrimps, squirt over some lemon, and cook for 5-8 minutes always on med-high heat. At the last minute, turn off heat and add the basil and mint.

Place the fried spaghetti on your serving dish, and the calamari rings and shrimps on top. Great with avocado and a beer! Enjoy!


Peter M said...

Delicious Marianna...love mixed fried seafood. If I may, try adding some corn flour into the mix with the corn starch and flour.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Never thought about using some cornstarch with the flour, but everything looks so perfectly coated, I've got to try this. And fried spaghetti? a fun idea.

Nina Timm said...

This is a divine plate of food!!! Your calamari rings look so much better than store-bought!

Joy said...

I like the deep fried spaghetti. I love calamari and it does remind of me of summer.

Nansi said...

Hi there! I was so excited to try this, my husband was craving fried calamari and I've been following and loving all the beautiful pictures and recipes on your blog. I went out and got fresh squid, followed your recipe exactly as written, unfortunately when I fried the calamari the coating was barely there and they never turned the beautiful golden colour that yours looked like, I was very disappointed and couldn't think of what I could have done wrong :( Any tips would be appreciated!

Marianna said...

Hi Nansi-
First of all, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment :)
I'm sorry to read that your calamari was not as you were hoping for... Frying can be tricky! Did you dry the squid rings well before throwing them into the flour? Did you make sure each ring was generously coated before frying? Those are the only 2 things I can think of... For a nice golden colour you can try double frying, that might help.
Last resort- throw the calamari rings into an egg yolk batter before the flour... (I personally didnt use eggs). Eggs are usually a no-fail when it comes to frying and obtaining a nice coating.
Best of luck!

Nansi said...

Hi Marianna! Thanks so much for your quick reply, no I didn't dry the calamari before coating, but they were generously coated. Maybe it's the drying, I will give it another shot, I liked the recipe because you didn't use the eggs, at any rate, I'll try it again, and play around with it, thanks again for your reply, keep doing what you do you're fabulous at it!