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Squid Stuffed with Herbed Breadcrumbs (Photo © Stephen Peck)

Squid Stuffed with Herbed Breadcrumbs

Sustainable Seafood Recipe

In this flavorful, Italian-inspired dish, squid is simmered until tender, filled with crunchy homemade breadcrumbs, and spiced with garlic, sundried tomatoes and lots of fresh herbs. Just before dinner it's broiled until golden and crisp then served topped with chopped fresh tomatoes mixed with chives and extra-virgin olive oil. Rice and sautéed zucchini slices make perfect side dishes. For dessert offer fresh apricots and biscotti.

The U.S. Atlantic longfin squid population is considered healthy and abundant, making this item a Seafood Watch "Best Choice." Other squid species, both U.S. and imported, are considered "Good Alternatives."

  • (Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a first course)
  • 1 1/2 pounds large cleaned squid
  • 4 slices country-style white bread, crusts trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped drained oil-packed sundried tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 large plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives

Separate the squid bodies and tentacles and refrigerate the tentacles. Place the bodies in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover partially, and simmer until tender, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, place the bread in a food processor and process until medium-fine crumbs form. Heat a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup breadcrumbs and cook until crisp and beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sundried tomatoes and garlic and sauté until the garlic starts to color, about 3 minutes. Add the toasted breadcrumbs and stir until well mixed. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Mix in the parsley, green onions and thyme. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine the plum tomatoes, chives and 3 tablespoons of oil in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Drain the calamari bodies and cool slightly. Stuff with the breadcrumb mixture.

Preheat the broiler. Place the squid bodies and tentacles on a baking sheet or boiler pan. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until beginning to brown and crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Divide the squid among 4 warmed plates. Spoon the tomato mixture over and serve immediately.

Hint from the Chef

  • Called calamari on Italian menus, squid are fresh tasting and tender-crisp when grilled, sautéed or deep fried for no more than 3 minutes, or simmered for 45 minutes to an hour. Anything in between and it will be tough.

Mario Batali
Mario Batali has seventeen restaurants and a host of television shows. He is also the author of eight cookbooks.

Best Choice Squid


Squid grow quickly and reproduce at a young age, making them highly resilient to fishing pressure. The U.S. Atlantic longfin squid population is considered healthy and abundant, making this item a Seafood Watch "Best Choice." Most other squid are caught in high-seas fisheries—located far from shore and notoriously difficult to manage. Enforcing regulations and even collecting data is difficult in the fisheries, resulting in a "Good Alternative" ranking.
iPhone Our app brings you up-to-date recommendations for ocean-friendly seafood and sushi. And the newest version, with Project FishMap, lets you share the locations of restaurants and markets where you've found sustainable seafood. As the map grows, you'll also be able to see what others have found near you.

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