This dish was a favourite of mine when studying in Sicily, the calamari would sporn and millions of baby calamari would arrive fresh on the doorstep of the restauraunt kitchen. As a 1st year apprentice, I would meticulously clean hundreds of the little ******. The delicate tenticles where finely chopped and used to make the stuffing. It taught you precision with a knife, as any holes in the tube would have to be discarded as stuffing.


  • serves 4 people

  • 20 baby calamari or baby sqid whole

  • 1 finely diced white onion.

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 50 g finely chopped fenel

  • 100 g cous cous

  • 2 eggs

  • 100 ml Extra virgin olive oil

  • lemon juice of 2 lemons

  • 10 large sun ripened tomatoes or 500 g of tinned diced tomato

  • 1 bunch fresh Basil

  • 1 red onion diced

  • 50 g of chopped flat leaf parsley

  • 1 small red chilli finely chopped optional

  • 100 g of pepper pegarino cheese

  • Sea Salt

  • Cracked Black Pepper


  • 1.


  • 2.

    Remove the tenticles and intestine by holding the body and gently pulling on the tenticles. cut the intestine away from the tenticles and discard the intestine and put the tenticles to one side.

  • 3.

    Wash the tubes thoroughly and place in a bowl with a little olive oil, lemon juice, chgopped chilli, salt and pepper.massage the tubes until coated in and out.

  • 4.

    Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  • 5.


  • 6.

    Finely chop the tenticles and place in a bowl.

  • 7.

    Saute" the onion, garlic in a little olive oil until translucent, add the cous cous, remainder of the lemon juice, parsley and fennel and 50 ml of hot water .

  • 8.

    Remove from heat, cover with cling wrap and leave for 5 minutes for the cous cous and flavours to develope.

  • 9.

    Lightly beat eggs and add to the cous cous to complete the stuffing.

  • 10.


  • 11.

    Blend the tomatoes, Basil and chopped red onion and 1 clove of garlic, add salt and pepper to taste.

  • 12.


  • 13.

    Place the Napoli sauce in a roasting tray so it settles about 3cm deep.

  • 14.

    Stuff the Marinated Calamari about 75 % as the stuffing will expand when cooked.

  • 15.

    Distribute the calamari evenly in the tray and submerge them, sprinkly the peppered Pegarino over the whole tray.

  • 16.

    Cover with foil

  • 17.


  • 18.

    Pre-heat oven to 150 C

  • 19.

    Place Tray on top shelf and cook for 40 minutes.

  • 20.

    Remove Tray

  • 21.

    Turn oven up to 200 C

  • 22.

    Remove foil from Tray and Place in hot oven for 5 mins

  • 23.

    Remove from Oven, drizzle with a little olive oil and chopped parsley and black pepper.

  • 24.

    Serve 5 per person with Italian Crusty Bread.


Dont be shy to soak up the sauce with the bread, Its a Sicilian custom as is to wipe your mouth on the table cloth in front of you.
Enjoy the dish as much as I did.

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