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10-Minute Roasted Calamari Pasta

5 from 8 votes

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Squid and pasta is on the top-ten list of amazing Italian seafood pasta recipes. And it’s so quick and tasty! This sheet-pan roasted calamari pasta dinner is sauced with spicy cherry tomatoes, olive oil and garlic, and it’s topped with a crunchy garnish of toasted herb breadcrumbs. Serve this tender, spicy seafood tossed with spaghetti or your favorite pasta.

Spaghetti, roasted cherry tomatoes and squid in a bowl with a fork on the side.
Roasted Calamari Pasta with cherry tomatoes and crunchy breadcrumb topping.

Welcome to one of my favorite Italian seafood pasta recipes, bar none. Calamari pasta with juicy tomatoes and a garlic olive oil sauce is quick and easy to make.

It’s a fact that squid does not get enough love in the world of everyday cooking. If you’re only familiar with deep-fried calamari, you must try this recipe!

It’s really simple to cook calamari — aka squid. This recipe uses a method that totally simplifies prep and clean-up: sheet-pan roasting.

This is one of our staple weeknight pasta recipes — it cooks super-quickly in the oven, and it creates a delicious spicy, garlicky pan sauce for the pasta at the same time.

Rhode Island calamari is in my DNA — I grew up eating a ton of crunchy fried (and yes, sometimes greasy) calamari rings.

But there’s more to squid than serving it as an (albeit delicious) appetizer. Not only is calamari a quality source of lean protein, it’s much more affordable than other types of fish. This pasta dish is a perfect way to enjoy this delicious seafood.

Also on our list of Italian seafood pasta recipes are garlic butter shrimp pasta and a quick weeknight tuna pasta aglio olio.

Cherry tomatoes on the vine in a wood bowl, fresh parsley, a dish of crushed red chili, raw squid, garlic cloves and a dish of olive oil on a surface.

About the ingredients

  • Calamari (Squid): You’ll need one pound of cleaned calamari, including the tubular bodies and some tentacles if you like. Unless you happen to live near a squid fishery, most squid sold in markets is previously frozen and defrosted when you buy it. You can also buy packages of frozen squid and defrost it yourself at home.
  • Dried pasta: Spaghetti, linguine or other long pasta shapes are perfect for slurping up the sauce and tender calamari rings.
  • Fresh cherry tomatoes: Grape tomatoes or chopped ripe tomatoes will also work.
  • Fresh garlic: Use two plump cloves.
  • Crushed red pepper: I use up to a teaspoon of chili pepper. If you prefer less heat, use half the amount or simply omit it.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil: Grab your good everyday olive oil for this dish for the best flavor.
  • Panko: These are the key to garnishing the dish instead of grated cheese. As much as I love (and crave) pasta showered with cheese, the textural contrast here between the crunchy crumbs, al dente pasta and springy squid rings is really wonderful.
  • Herbs: Fresh parsley and fresh (or dried) thyme and oregano.

Calamari versus squid

Calamari means squid in Italian. There’s no difference between squid and calamari — the words are used interchangeably. And no, squid is not an octopus. Although they are both cephalopods, they are two different species.

How to cook squid

To make tender, perfectly cooked squid you need to prepare it either of two ways: By cooking it quickly at high heat, or slowly at a lower temperature. This recipe employs the first technique, roasting in a very hot oven for about 10 minutes.

Recipe steps

How to cook frozen squid

To thaw frozen squid: Remove the squid from the packaging and place in a colander. Run cold water over the block of squid 5-10 minutes, or until the pieces separate. Drain well and dry with a clean towel or paper towels and proceed with the recipe. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator: Place the unopened package of squid on a small tray or plate to catch any drips.

FUN FACT: Italians tend not to serve seafood with cheese, especially ones like Parmigiano or Pecorino. The reason is that the cheese’s salty sharpness can overwhelm the delicate taste of fish or shellfish.

Grilled calamari

  • In warm weather, this recipe can be made on a gas grill or charcoal grill instead of heating up the oven (and the kitchen).
  • Preheat a grill to at least 500 degrees. Place the sheet pan of squid and tomatoes in the center of the grill over indirect heat and cook according to the recipe.

More Italian-inspired seafood recipes:

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Spaghetti, roasted cherry tomatoes and squid in a bowl with a fork on the side.

10-Minute Roasted Calamari Pasta

Karen Tedesco
Rings of calamari (squid) are oven-roasted with cherry tomatoes and garlic, and served over spaghetti. A super-quick Italian seafood pasta recipe for any day of the week!
Print Pin Text
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Seafood
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • ¼ cup (30 ml) plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound (500 g) cleaned squid bodies and tentacles, bodies sliced into ½-inch rings
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or crushed with a garlic press
  • ½-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces (350 g) dried spaghetti or linguine
  • 1 pint (310 g) red or assorted color cherry tomatoes, halved (2 cups)

Instructions 

  • Heat the oven to 475 degrees.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the panko and cook about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the crumbs turn golden. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
  • Pat the squid dry with paper towels. Put it in a medium bowl with the remaining ¼ cup olive oil, garlic, red pepper, oregano or thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper and toss together. Note: The squid can marinate up to 4 hours ahead. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
  • Bring a large (at least 5 quarts) pot of water to a boil, and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt to the water.
  • When the oven is hot, place a large rimmed baking sheet on the rack to heat for 5 minutes.
  • Carefully pour the marinated squid onto the hot baking sheet in an even layer. — it should sizzle immediately. The pan might buckle at this point, but don't worry. Distribute the tomatoes over the squid. Roast 8-10 minutes, until the squid is opaque and the tomatoes shrivel and begin to caramelize.
  • Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
  • Pour the squid, tomatoes and all the pan liquid over the spaghetti. Toss to combine.
  • Sprinkle the pasta with the breadcrumbs and serve.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • Don’t like squid? Try this method with shrimp instead!
  • To thaw frozen squid: Remove the squid from the packaging and place in a colander. Run cold water over the block of squid 5-10 minutes, or until the pieces separate. Drain well and dry with a clean towel or paper towels.
  • You can also place the package of squid (don’t open it) on a small tray or plate and defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
  • In warm weather, this recipe can be made on a gas grill or charcoal grill instead of heating up the oven (and the kitchen).
  • Preheat a grill to at least 500 degrees. Place the sheet pan of squid and tomatoes in the center of the grill over indirect heat and cook according to the recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 464kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 600mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 863IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 3mg
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Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is one of the best recipes I’ve ever made. It’s so simple and delicious! Thank you so much for sharing it!

  2. Hello! I tried this recipe last night, and it was great. However, I wanted to confirm your recommendation for 3-4 tablespoons of salt for 12 ounces of pasta. It seemed like a lot, and even though I reduced, my pasta came out wicked salty. Thank you!

    1. Hi Emily – Yes, the amount of salt is correct, and it helps season the pasta as it cooks. But it’s important to use a large pot that holds about 6 quarts of water. And if you’re NOT using kosher salt (which is less salty than table salt) you can season the pasta water with 1 tablespoon regular table salt or sea salt.

  3. Yay another update!! This looks really awesome. Where do you get squid?

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Leah!
      I’m happy that you’re enticed to try the squid 🙂
      You can usually find it at frozen Whole Foods or at fish markets. I want to hear how you like it!

  4. Oh this looks so good! I can’t wait to try it.