Fried Calamari with Classic Spicy Tomato Sauce

Fried Calamari_sml.jpg

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer

What could feel more like summer than a platter of fried calamari dipped in a deliciously rich tomato sauce?

Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh calamari, cleaned and rinsed
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons paprika
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
½ cup whole milk
Vegetable oil for frying
Lemon wedges for serving
Classic Red tomato sauce for dipping

Method:

Dry the squid thoroughly on paper towels. Cut off the tentacle cluster and then cut the mantle into ½ inch thick rings. Add the flour to a medium bowl, mix in the paprika and season with salt and pepper. Add the milk to a second bowl.

Pour enough oil into a heavy large saucepan to reach the depth of 3 inches. Heat the oil over high until it reaches 350°F. Working in batches, dip the squid into the milk and then into the flour before carefully lowering into the oil. Be sure to use a splatter screen as the oil has a tendency to pop with this mixture, even after drying off the squid! As soon as each batch has turned golden brown (about 1-2 minutes), transfer to paper towels to drain. Once they are all fried, season calamari with salt.  Serve on a platter with lemon wedges and Classic Spicy tomato sauce for dipping.

Melissa Vitelli