Calamari stuffed with pork and pistachios

Calamari stuffed with pork and pistachios

New Middle Eastern Food
4 as part of a mezze selection
Mark Roper

Ideally, you need fresh medium-sized squid tubes for this dish. Stuffed with a spicy pork-mince filling studded with pretty green pistachios, they make an attractive and very tasty starter. Serve with a handful of salad leaves and warm crusty bread.


Quantity Ingredient
4 medium calamari tubes, about 60 g each
40g pistachio kernels
320g minced pork
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 long green chilli, seeded and finely shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 free-range egg
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
Mayonnaise, to serve


  1. Clean the calamari tubes well and pat them dry.
  2. Soak the pistachios in cold water for 5 minutes to get rid of any extra salt. Mix the pork, nuts, garlic, shallot, spices, chilli, oil and egg until thoroughly combined. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  3. Stuff a quarter of the stuffing into each calamari tube, making sure you work it right down to the very bottom and that no air is trapped inside. Leave about 1 cm at the open end. If you like, use a piping bag for this bit. Close the ends with a toothpick. Lightly season the tubes with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof pan and sear the calamari tubes on medium–high heat, rolling them around like sausages, until they are a nice golden colour all over. Transfer the pan to the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 12 minutes.
  5. Remove the squid tubes from the oven and allow them to rest for a couple of minutes on a wire rack until ready to serve.
  6. Slice each tube into 4 even pieces and arrange them on a plate. Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil over the top and serve with lemon wedges and a generous dollop of preserved lemon mayonnaise.
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