Stuffed Calamari

Stuffed Calamari

By Citarella Published: November 28, 2016

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Prep: 20 minutes
  • Cook: 40 minutes
  • Ready In: 1 hr 0 minutes

It’s become a tradition that I cook the Feast of Seven Fish for friends on Christmas Eve. But if you know me, I don’t stop at seven. No way. I cook something more like ten or eleven dishes, and this stuffed calamari is always one of them. – Joe Gurrera, Citarella’s Owner & Original Fishmonger, author of JOE KNOWS FISH.


  • 2 teaspoons plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 8 small white mushroom trimmed, cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 8 (4- to 6-inch) whole calamari (bodies and tentacles), cleaned
  • ½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1½ cups marinara sauce store-bought or homemade
  • Chopped chives for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes, or until slightly tender. Set aside in a medium bowl.
  2. Heat another teaspoon of the oil in the pan and sauté the calamari tentacles for 3 minutes. Let the tentacles cool and chop them into ½-inch pieces.
  3. Add the tentacles to the bowl with the sautéed mushrooms, the breacrumbs, the remaining ¼ cup oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine. The stuffing mixture should be moist.
  4. Using your fingers, stuff the body of each calamari with the mushroom mixture, being careful not to pack it too tightly. Thread a toothpick through the open end of each calamari to keep it closed.
  5. Cover the bottom of an 8- by 10-inch baking dish with 1 cup of marinara sauce and place the calamari snugly in the dish. Top with the remaining marinara sauce and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove the toothpicks before serving. Sprinkle with chopped chives for garnish if desired.
  6. The dish reheats well the next day: cover the baking dish with foil and heat the calamari in a 350°F preheated oven for 15 minutes.