Fritto Misto

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Crispy calamari with crunchy, salty anchovies, carrot and courgette. This is one of my favourite dishes to order in a restaurant especially in the summer with a crisp, cold glass of prosecco.
For people who say squid tastes like rubber bands, they simply have not had it cooked properly. If it is cooked too long, especially fried it will get tough. You only need a few minutes to create this beauty.
For me there is nothing better than biting in to a crispy, salty piece of calamari with a squeeze of lemon. My favourite is the little tentacle pieces they are absolutely delicious!
I have tried dipping the calamari in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and panko breadcrumbs but I have to say I do prefer dusting them in flour with plenty salt and pepper. It is so easy and delicious and because they are slightly wet after the cleaning process, when dunked into the flour it clumps slightly around the succulent little pieces resulting in the best crunch and crispiness.
I also love the anchovies, normally when you order Fritto misto it comes with calamari and prawns but we wanted a feast for lunch and anchovies are so cheap and packed with flavour. The carrot and courgette are also brilliant in this dish. I could eat a big plate of these thin and crispy carrot and courgette chips just on their own. What’s not to like?

We made this just for the two of us ( yes I know what you are thinking ) and we have to admit it was very, very filling. I was full up half way through but continued stuffing my face because it was so good and couldn’t bare it going to waste. So a sensible person would say, this serves four…

1/2kg calamari, cleaned and membrane removed
1/2kg fresh anchovies, cleaned, gutted and heads removed
1 carrot, peeled and cut into think strips
1 courgette, cut into thin strips.
Flour, to completely cover all of above, 500g
Sunflower oil, 1 litre
1 lemon
Parsley, handful
Salt and pepper
Brown paper for draining & baking paper

Firstly put the oil in a large pot under a medium heat and pre heat the oven on the lowest setting. Get three bowls ready and divide the flour among them and add plenty salt and pepper.
Cut the calamari into lovely little rings and place into one bowl. After peeling the carrot and cutting it with a sharp knife along with the courgette into very thin strips place them into another bowl and finally place the prepared anchovies into the third bowl.
Make sure you have plates ready, lined with brown paper to drain the fritto misto. Also have a tray ready in the oven lined with baking paper to keep the first batch warm as the rest is cooking.
Make sure the calamari, anchovies and veg are all completely covered in flour in their bowls. Test the oil with a small piece of bread and if it sizzles and floats then it is ready.
Now start frying, in small batches and starting with the veg. It only takes a few minutes. When you see them turning crispy and slightly golden, remove them onto the brown paper to drain. Continue the process then with the anchovies and finally the calamari. Place the batches into the oven as you go to keep them warm. Serve on a large serving plate with wedges of lemon and a sprinkling of parsley. Oh and a nice cold bottle of prosecco. Enjoy!

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