This Stuffed Squid Recipe Is a Must for Seafood Lovers in Westchester

This stuffed squid recipe is delicious with a subtle, nutty flavor and takes under an hour to whip together.

Sharing recipes is time-honored tradition for many families who pass culinary records down through the generations. That practice is especially true for families who stay in the food business.

Third-generation lobster fisherman Anthony DiMeglio, proprietor of Dobbs Ferry Lobster Guys, turns to his father when it comes to old-world recipes. A former restaurant owner and chef, Captain Carl offered Westchester Magazine three seafood recipes, such as the stuffed squid recipe below, the tempting wild-caught striped bass pizzaiola, and the upcoming lobster sauce recipe.

All of these recipes are easy to make and can be completed in less than an hour.

For those who enjoy squid, it’s no surprise that this deep-water cephalopod can be tender but also difficult to chew when cooked incorrectly. Though cooking squid (calamari) requires a certain amount of knowhow, this recipe provides a gateway to more calamari dishes you’ll want to make.

It turns out that the science behind a cooked squid’s tenderness (or toughness) lies in a type of protein (collagen) found throughout the squid’s body. The collagen that allows mollusks to move with speed and flexibility in the natural world can also make for lacrosse-ball toughness when over-cooked or under-cooked. Fried calamari, for example, calls for quick hands (first battered or breaded, then 2-3 minutes in hot oil), whereas this stuffed squid recipe requires a longer cooking time (about 20 minutes) as outlined below.

Using the extended time, the collagen in the squid’s body converts to a gelatin that lubricates the tough tissue, making the squid tender while at the same time heating the dish’s savory stuffing.

Another key factor to cooking squid is freshness. Anthony DiMeglio, whose shop on Dobbs Ferry’s Main Street offers some of the area’s best wild-caught fish and shellfish, recommends “fresh, never frozen” for this recipe.

This recipe is an offering from the DiMeglio family-owned lobster business, which began sailing from Brooklyn’s Mill Basin back in the 1960s. The resulting dishes are wholesome, packed with flavor, and often served with fresh pasta. The combination of wild-caught seafood and flavorful ingredients makes these recipes worth revisiting.

Scrumptious Stuffed Squid

Course: EntreeCuisine: Seafood, ItalianDifficulty: Medium
Servings

2-4

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Total time

50

minutes

Simple with a subtle, nutty flavor, the calamari can be accompanied by any number of lighter side dishes, including salad or sautéed vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 4 large, whole fresh squid (about 6 inches long)

  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil for frying

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans of tomato sauce

  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

  • 5 large deveined shrimp, chopped

  • 4 medium eggs

  • 10 pignoli/pine nuts, chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  • ½ Tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped

Directions

  • Though cleaned squid is available in many stores, cleaning a whole squid is easy.  Do this by grasping the tail end of the squid, gently twisting off the head, and removing innards and interior cartilage. The skin may be left or removed. Leave the body of the squid whole.
  • In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, chopped shrimp, eggs, chopped pignoli/pine nuts, parsley, and garlic. Let the stuffing sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Fill each squid tube ¾ full with the stuffing and close ends with a toothpick. Be careful to leave space at the top of the tube to prevent the squid from splitting open when frying.
  • Over medium heat, add the olive oil to a frying pan large enough for all four squid. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the stuffed squid to the pan. Cook each side of the squid (about 3 minutes per side).
  • Reduce the heat. Add the tomato sauce and cover. Simmer the squid for about a ½ hour. Gently flip the stuffed squid two or three times while cooking.
  • Salt to taste. Serve stuffed squid warm with the tomato sauce and accompaniment of your choice.

Related: These Cooking Classes Are Hot Tickets for Westchester Foodies

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