Traditional ingredients for Italian calamari include squid, all-purpose flour, parsley and lemon wedges. Oil is necessary for frying the calamari, and marinara sauce is ideal for dipping. A heavy skillet or saucepan is a good choice when cooking this dish.
When preparing traditional Italian calamari, use both the tentacles and tubular portions of the squid. A pound of squid yields approximately six servings. When breaking down the meat, cut the tubes so the subsequent rings measure 1/3 to 1/2 inches for even cooking. Choose vegetable oil rather than olive oil when preparing calamari, since olive oil produces smoke and does not cook adequately at high temperatures.
Coat each piece of squid with flour before frying it, and place it on a separate plate. Once the oil reaches the desired temperature, fry the calamari in small batches to ensure quality and even cooking. Calamari should take no longer than a minute or so to cook after being submersed in hot oil. Once the pieces are golden-brown, extract them with a slotted spoon to shed excess oil. Remember that overcooked calamari quickly becomes tough and inedible after cooking. Finally, serve the finished product with hot marinara sauce and lemon wedges on the side.