Fried Calamari with Homemade Marinara Sauce
Ingredients:Canola oil, for frying the calamari
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1# fresh or frozen and thawed small calamari, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch rings
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Marinara Sauce, recipe follows
Homemade Marinara Sauce Ingredients:
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
3 cloves – peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 - 35-ounce can crushed Italian tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch of sugar
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
Homemade Marinara Sauce Directions:
In a large saucepan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the onion and sauté just until translucent and then add the garlic cloves and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the sugar and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes. Add the chopped basil and stir through. Serve immediately.
Preheat oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl add the cornmeal, flour, cayenne, garlic powder, dried parsley, salt and pepper. Whisk together to combine.
Working in batches, toss the calamari into the dry mixture, shaking off the excess. Carefully add to the hot oil, in batches, until lightly golden, about 1 minute per batch. Remove to a paper towel lined sheet tray and immediately season with salt. Transfer to a platter, garnish with lemon wedges, and serve with the Marinara Sauce and Parmesan Cheese.