Summertime Squid, Grilled the Sicilian Way

Calamari Ripieni (Sicily) (4)

Calamari Ripieni
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
For ease, buy the squid already cleaned but make sure they include each of the squid's tentacles. Eight squid should weigh about 1¼ pounds, and that size is ideal for grilling in this recipe. You can double the recipe if you like. The easiest way--and there is no really easy way--to stuff squid is to squeeze open the squid body with one hand and fill it with a baby spoon or a flat handle-end of a spoon, tamping it down into the body and securing the opening with a toothpick.
Recipe type: Grilled
Cuisine: Sicilian
Serves: 4
  • 8 large squid (1 to 1¼ pounds), cleaned
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  1. Cut off the tentacles off the squid below the eyes and chop the tentacles finely. In a skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat, add the bread crumbs and chopped tentacles, and cook, stirring, until the bread crumbs begin to turn golden brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and toss with the garlic, parsley, and season with salt and pepper, mixing well. Toss again with the mozzarella.
  2. Mix the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil with the oregano and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill for 15 minutes on medium-high.
  4. Dry the squid well. Stuff loosely with the filling and close the opening with a toothpick. Brush with the seasoned olive oil, place on the grill, and cook over indirect heat for 15 to 17 minutes on each side, basting with the seasoned olive oil occasionally.

To go in an Italian direction with your summertime grilling you could do no better—and unusual if you’ve never grilled squid—than grilling stuffed squid.  You could make these grilled squid as an antipasto or as a main course.  This recipe in particular is a popular preparation in the province of Messina in Sicily.  The simplest way to grill squid is to clean them and marinate with olive oil, parsley, and salt and pepper for 1 hour, then grill for 20 to 30 minutes.  Another way is to stuff them with the stuffing below and then to marinate the stuffed squid, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 hours in 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, salt, and pepper.  In Sardinia, cooks stuff the squid with 1 cup bread crumbs, 4 squid tentacles, boiled for 3 minutes and finely chopped with 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley, 2 finely chopped garlic cloves; 6 finely chopped anchovy fillets and salt and pepper. For this stuffed version some people also add eggs or raisins or leave out the cheese.  Italians also eat cuttlefish, which they catch while still small. The cuttlefish available in American markets—and really only found in Chinese markets in America—are much bigger and better suited to being cut-up and grilled rather than stuffed.



  1. David Richey says

    you are a writer and don’t know how to spell “weigh”….???? Can’t believe it.

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