Stuffed Calamari

Christmas dinner in Sicily wouldn’t be complete without seafood. Whether you’re preparing an elaborate multi-course feast, plan to have 7 seafood dishes adorning your table, or are going to keep it simple with only one seafood inclusion, this stuffed calamari should definitely be part of your meal plan.


Stuffed Squid



Serves 4-6


▢ 2 lbs fresh, cleaned whole squid
▢ 6 tbsp Heritage Blend EVOO, divided
▢ 1 large onion, finely chopped
▢ 2 fennel bulbs, finely diced, fronds saved
▢ 8 cloves garlic, divided
▢ 2 lemons, 1 zested
▢ 1/2 jar Basil Almond Pesto
▢ Pinch Chili Pepper Flakes
▢ 1 cup panko bread crumbs, toasted
▢ 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 
▢ 1/2 cup pitted black olives
▢ 1 cup cherry tomatoes
▢ Fresh parsley, finely chopped for garnish



  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large pan, toast the panko bread crumbs until browned but not burned. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl. Set aside. 
  2. Mince 2 cloves of garlic. In the same pan, add 4 tbsp olive oil, onion, fennel bulb and a pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Sauté until translucent and soft. Add the minced garlic and zest of 1 lemon and sauté for 30 seconds. Add this mixture to the breadcrumbs with ½ jar of Almond Basil Pesto and ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. 
  3. Add the tomatoes, olives, lemons (cut into disks), and remaining cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed) to a large baking dish. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Carefully stuff the squid with the breadcrumb mixture. Be careful not to overstuff as the squid will expand as they cook. Sprinkle them with oil and season them with salt and pepper. Place the stuffed squid overtop of the olive, tomato, lemon, and garlic mixture, and roast for 15 minutes, until the squid begins to brown. Garnish with fresh parsley and fennel fronds to serve.
  5. Mangiamo.



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