Quick and so tasty! This sheet-pan roasted calamari is sauced with spicy cherry tomatoes and toasted breadcrumbs. Serve over spaghetti or your favorite pasta.
This is one of my favorite ways to cook calamari, aka squid, using a method I often use when I want to simplify things — one-pan roasting.
It cooks super quickly, and at the same time, you create a delicious garlic and chili-scented pan sauce for the pasta.
Rhode Island calamari is in my DNA — I grew up eating a ton of crunchy fried (and yes, sometimes greasy) calamari rings.
This pasta dish is another way to enjoy this delicious, high protein seafood and it cooks really quickly.
Calamari with breadcrumbs
The toasted breadcrumb topping is key!
As much as I love (and crave) pasta showered with cheese, the contrast here between the crunchy crumbs, al dente pasta and springy squid rings is really wonderful.
It’s super traditional for Italians not to serve seafood with cheese, especially ones like Parmigiano or Pecorino.
In fact it’s pretty much verboten because the cheese’s salty sharpness can overwhelm the delicate taste of fish or shellfish.
Although I tend to push the rules a bit when I cook, in this case tradition wins. The savory crumbs add crunch and texture that’s so good!
I admit that sometimes I do sprinkle some grated cheese as a topper (ssshh) because I can’t resist.
In the middle of summer, this recipe can be made on a gas grill instead of heating up the oven (and the kitchen).
Preheat the grill to at least 500 degrees, then adjust the burners and place the sheet pan in the center of the grill over indirect heat and cook according to the recipe.
More Italian-inspired seafood recipes
- Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta
- Tomato Basil Shrimp with Polenta
- Baked Cod with Tomatoes and Thyme
- Shrimp and Rosemary White Beans
Roasted Calamari Pasta and Cherry Tomatoes
- 4 slices day-old crusty bread
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
- 1 pound (500 g) cleaned squid bodies and tentacles, bodies sliced into 1/2-inch rings
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or crushed with a garlic press
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Sea salt
- 12 ounces (350 g) spaghetti or linguine
- 1 pint (310 g) red or assorted color cherry tomatoes, halved
- Chopped fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, mint or thyme, to taste
To make the breadcrumbs:
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice or tear the bread into 1-inch pieces and spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle the bread with the 2 tablespoons oil and bake until the bread is crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. Cool, then pulse in a food processor or blender to make coarse crumbs, or put into a heavy duty zip-top bag and bash with a rolling pin or heavy pot.
For the squid and spaghetti:
- Turn the oven up to 475 degrees. Put the squid, olive oil, garlic, red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and toss together.
- Bring a large (at least 6 quarts) pot of water to a boil, adding 3-4 tablespoons kosher salt (or 1 tablespoon table salt) to the water.
- When the oven is hot, place a large rimmed baking sheet on the rack to heat up for 10 minutes.
- Carefully pour the squid onto the hot baking sheet in an even layer – the pan might buckle at this point, but don't worry. Distribute the tomatoes over the squid and roast 8-10 minutes, until the squid is opaque and the tomatoes shrivel and begin to caramelize.
- Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti until al dente, drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
- Pour the squid and tomatoes over the spaghetti, along with all the pan liquid. Toss to combine (add more olive oil to taste if the pan seems dry).
- Top with the breadcrumbs and fresh herbs.