Guy Grossi's recipe provides an elegant way of serving calamari, stuffed with mud-crab meat, herbs, lemon and spices. It's a feast for all the senses, and will transport you to Italy with every bite.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (19 votes)



  • 500 g picked, cooked mud-crab meat
  • 1 tsp finely chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • ¼ long red chilli, finely chopped
  • splash of olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 cleaned baby calamari tubes

To serve

  • 2 tbsp basil seeds
  • sea salt
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • baccala mantecato (optional)
  • black olive tapenade (optional)
  • baby herbs (optional)
  • oven-dried roma tomatoes (optional)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Combine the crab meat, herbs, paprika, lemon zest, chilli and oil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Stuff the mixture into the calamari tubes until three-quarters full. Firmly wrap each tube in plastic wrap, twisting the ends shut.

To prepare the garnishes, mix some basil seeds with a pinch of salt and a little water and set aside to soften for a few minutes, then drain. Combine the cucumber, paprika and a drizzle of oil in a separate bowl.

Steam the stuffed calamari for 3–4 minutes.

Place a spoonful of cucumber salad and baccala mantecato (if using) on each plate. Drizzle with tapenade (if using) and scatter with basil seeds. Remove the warm calamari from the plastic and place on top. If you wish, finish by scattering with baby herbs and adding a few pieces of oven-dried tomato.