Both calamari and cuttlefish (seppie) are very popular in Italy. Calamariis the Italian word for squid and it refers to those species of squid with long side fins; those with relatively shorter side fins are seppie (cuttlefish). In Australia the two species are often sold interchangeably.
Cuttlefish is usually braised and is favoured for making black ink sauces. As for squid, it is cooked and eaten in many ways, including raw but probably my favourite way of cooking squid is alla brace (grilled over hot coals); my gas fuelled Baby Webber does a good job too.
I prefer to grill squid on high heat for a short time; Italians (includes Sicilians) generally prefer to cook it on medium–low heat for longer. When you cook it for a short time, the squid may still look a little shiny, but the residual heat completes the cooking, the flesh will turn opaque but remain moist.
I generally buy small to medium sized squid (anything bigger than 400g each I consider to be large squid.) Grilled Calamari are popular all over Italy, but the salmorigano dressing is Sicilian.
INGREDIENTS AND PROCESSES
Season the squid with a fine sprinkling of salt and leave it to rest for about 5 minutes. .
Baste the squid with a little extra virgin olive oil; for extra flavour, use a strong sprig of rosemary or oregano as a brush.
Brush a little oil on the metal grill before cooking the squid and grill the squid for 4-8 minutes on each side. This will depend on the size of the squid and how you like it.
Place them on a large serving platter and rest it for about 3-5 minutes before covering it with a little dressing.
A simple, Sicilian dressing is salmorigano. Mix together some extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, a little dried oregano (it is stronger tasting than fresh), some finely cut flat leaf parsley and some salt and pepper to taste. Some also add a clove of finely chopped garlic.