A great many people just cannot face the task of cleaning Squid, and if you are able to buy already cleaned Squid all the better. Try to find cleaned Squid that has the skin left on for the best flavor and appearance. If you decide to give it a go use some disposable gloves and try to clean the Squid the day before you are cooking them. Then any unpleasant memories will have time to fade and you will be able to enjoy the meal with your guests.
To reduce the whole Squid to it’s edible parts the body is cleaned out until hollow removing the obvious bulk and the transparent quill. Next the head is cut removing the tentacles just in front of the eyes, leaving the beak and eyes with the insides as trash.
Squid are a uniquely stuctured animal, and require a little more preparation than many other species. Once you have mastered the basics, the whole process becomes much easier.
Cut the Squid tentacles off (just below the eyes), and set them aside for later use.
Pull out all of the parts inside the main tube of the body by holding down with the back of the knife, and pulling the tube back.
Then (using your knife), pull the transparent plastic looking “quills” from the tube of the body and discard with the rest of the innards. You should now be left with a fully segmented Squid.
Rinse, but don’t remove the transparent purple skin from the body. The purple look is Squid ink, providing both flavor and a beautiful appearance when cooked. The small silver sacks you see on either side of the innards hold the ink which the Squid uses to defend itself. The black ink is very exotic and should be used whenever possible,such as“Calamari in su tinta” (Squid in it’s own ink). Squid ink is available as a concentrate, saving a great deal of work if you can locate it, otherwise place the ink sacks in a sieve and push into the sauce with a spoon when called for.
Finally cut the Squid tube into 3/8 inch (6mm) slices, and leave the tentacles intact.