This is the exact Carrabba’s Italian Restaurant cookbook recipe. The fried calamari turns out perfect…tender and crisp with a light and delicate coating. I have yet to find a better calamari recipe! We like to dip it in Marinara Sauce and Garlic Aioli sauce (both recipes on my blog). If you are looking for a yummy new appetizer and you love seafood, this recipe is for you! I highly recommend you make both sauces for dipping too, so you have the ultimate restaurant experience right at home!
Fried Calamari (Carrabba’s Italian Grill Recipe)
- 1 LB Calamari cleaned
- 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
- Vegetable Oil for deep frying
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt or Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- Lemon Wedges optional, for serving
- Marinara Sauce or Garlic Aioli Sauce for dipping, optional, both recipes posted on my blog
- Wash the Calamari (Squid). Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line 1 baking sheet with 2 layers of paper towels. Have a 2nd baking sheet lined with foil, nearby.
- Pour enough oil to come 1 inch up the side of a large, heavy saucepan or skillet. Heat over high heat to 350 degrees (on a deep frying thermometer).
- Cut the Calamari bodies (sacs/tubes) crosswise into 1/2 inch-wide rings. Cut each cluster of tentacles in halves or thirds. Season the Calamari with salt/pepper and mix.
- Pour the flour into a bowl. Divide the calamari into 2 batches. Put the first batch of calamari into the bowl with flour and coat it with the flour, shaking off excess flour.
- Add the coated calamari into the saucepan with the hot oil. Cook over high heat until the calamari are golden brown, about 2-4 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon transfer the calamari onto the baking sheet lined with paper towels to briefly drain.
- Move the calamari to the second baking sheet lined with foil and place in the oven, to keep it warm and crisp. Repeat the same steps with the second batch of calamari. Add more flour to the bowl if there is not enough. I added a few extra spoons of flour.
- Transfer the calamari to the serving plate. You can add lemon wedges to the plate, for decoration. Serve with Marinara Sauce and or Garlic Aioli Sauce for dipping, if desired. I served with both sauces because we like to dip our calamari into both sauces. Both Marinara and Garlic Aioli Sauce recipes are on my blog.