Stuffed calamari | Punjene lignje

So I tried this recipe from the Dalmatia cookbook by Ino Kuvacic and while I love the stuffing and the taste, the method of cooking the calamari was not my cup of tea. You leave them in the oven for 10 minutes, then you take them out to let the potatoes bake, then after about 30 minutes you put the calamari back in to get golden.

I don’t know? I don’t like cooling off food then reheating, and I felt like this method made the calamari more chewy than they needed to be. Anyway, next time I’ll either sear them in a pan over the stove or finish them on the outdoor bbq. No more oven.

I do love that this recipe has a stuffing that includes silverbeet. Croatians are huge fans of silverbeet, well, even if you’re not a fan, Blitva is a true staple of every Croatian table and a great pairing with seafood.

I totally loved sticking those toothpicks in and even though I thought the stuffing would spill out….they held!

But here is the recipe (with my change in method)


  • One (1) kilo of calamari
  • 100 grams of silverbeet chopped
  • 100mls extra-virgin olive oil
  • Two (2) tablespoons of pressed garlic
  • 50 grams of breadcrumbs
  • One (1) kilo of waxy potatoes
  • 100mls of white wine
  • parsley (as much as you like)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • lemon wedges


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Cut the potatoes into 1cm discs and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Clean the calamari under cold running water by yanking out the intestines and the barb. Leave the skin on and set them aside.
  4. Cut just below the eyes of the calamari and discard the intestine bits and keep the tentacles, chopping them into 5mm pieces. Chop the silverbeet into the same size pieces.
  5. At this point I would put the potatoes in the oven. Put them in a baking dish sprinkle with white wine and some olive oil, cover with foil and place in the oven. Leave them in for about 30 minutes and then take off the foil and give them another 10 minutes to get them golden brown.
  6. Pour half the oil into a pan and sauté the garlic (one minute max) then add the silverbeet and calamari tentacles. Add salt and pepper and cook for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add the breadcrumbs and set mixture aside
  8. Stuff the calamari with the filling and close the ends with a toothpick
  9. Here I would either sear in a frying pan or on the bbq. It shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes.
  10. Take out the potatoes, and serve with the calamari and sprinkle the parsley on top and serve with lemon wedges.


Ino probably wouldn’t agree with my bastardisation of his recipe but I really think it would better and I will try it again in the coming months and keep you posted on the result.

Do you have Ino’s book? Have you tried this recipe? Did it work wonderfully for you? Or is my recipe a dud? Let me know what you think in the comments.

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