Sicilian-stuffed squid with tomato alioli


First published in 2021
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Stuffed squid

Tomato alioli


Ensure the inside of the squid is clean by running under cold water to remove any hidden sand. Slice about 1cm off the end of the opening to make a nice, clean entry. Place the squid and tentacles on a clean cloth on a tray and place in the fridge until ready to stuff. It's important they are dry before roasting so it isn’t necessary to cover them - the air in the fridge will help them to dry out

  • 6 small squid, each weighing 100g, cleaned with tentacles removed

To make the stuffing, heat a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat and add a good amount of olive oil - about 1cm in depth. When hot fry the breadcrumbs, stirring as you go, until golden brown

  • extra virgin olive oil, for frying
  • 200g of fresh breadcrumbs

Remove from the heat then stir in the drained raisins, capers and brine, pine nuts and half the lemon juice, then season well with salt and pepper


Finally, stir in most of the fennel fronds or dill, reserving some to garnish the dish. The stuffing should not be too dry and be able to mould together. If it seems too dry add a splash of water


Stuff the squids by simply spooning the stuffing mixture into the cavities, ensuring to press in as you go. Fill each cavity until about three-quarters full. Secure each squid pocket with two cocktail sticks to help seal in the stuffing during cooking

Next make the alioli. Place the tomato puree in a small pan and cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, then leave to cool

Place the yolks, garlic paste, mustard and vinegar into a bowl and whisk for 1 minute until thick and pale. Slowly drizzle in both oils whilst whisking continuously to create an emulsion. If the mixture begins to split, add a dash of cold water to bring it together again


Once the alioli is ready, stir in the cooled tomato puree, then taste and season with salt and lemon juice


Now you are ready to cook the squid. Heat a large sauté pan (or 2 pans if you don't have one large enough to fit all the squid in) over a medium heat and add a good lug of olive oil. When hot, add the stuffed squid and cook for 5 minutes on one side until golden brown and caramelised


Turn the squid over, add the tentacles into the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes until cooked through and golden brown

Now add the butter and cook until foaming and lightly browned. Baste the squid, then add some salt, pepper and the juice from the leftover lemon half

Take the squid off the heat and leave to rest for 5 minutes, before serving with the remaining herbs to garnish and the tomato alioli on the side

First published in 2021
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