Are there certain appetizers you order again and again? You know you do. We are all guilty. For me is fried calamari. There’s something so sooooo good about a lightly battered crispy fried calamari, right? I’ve had it with marinara, tartar, aioli, and sweet and spicy sauces. When I make it at home I prefer to have it with a kick. I mix store bought marinara sauce or simply some mayo with my favorite tabasco and that just simply hits the spot. Love it!
A friend recently told me she had a calamari pizza. I thought that was genius, so I was ready for the challenge to try to make my own. For this recipe I wanted to combine layers of flavor and textures. I started with the traditional tomato sauce, and topped it with a spicy aioli. Oh my mouth is drooling as I type. I am telling you this recipe is the bomb.
Tip: for a spicy aioli, I totally recommend using Tabasco’s Garlic Pepper sauce because it is so convenient. It saves you the need to grate garlic as is needed for the aioli. And the level of heat can be increased pretty easily without compromising flavor.
For me the calamari and the sauce are the stars of the recipe. But it all starts by baking the pizza dough topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and fresh yellow cherry tomatoes.
Once the cheese has melted and the dough is crisp, I then add the fried calamari and drizzle a tone of sauce.
You can make the sauce as spicy or mild as you like. I went a bit milder for my taste as I wanted to make sure everyone enjoyed it and increased the heat to their taste. So my solution was to keep the Tabasco sauce on the table and as you can imagine I went to town with it.
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ lemon (juice)
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco Garlic Pepper sauce
- 8 mid size calamari tubes, cut into rings
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- Oil for frying
- 1 (14'') store bough pizza crust
- ½ cup store bough marinara sauce
- 8 oz. mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup sliced yellow cherry tomatoes
- To make the aioli sauce combine mayo, lemon juice and Tabasco Garlic Pepper sauce. Set aside.
- Work on the pizza (following directions below) and while is in the oven get the calamari started.
- Season the calamari with salt and garlic powder. Toss to season evenly.
- Cover the calamari rings with the flour and toss to cover.
- Fry the calamari on very hot oil for just a minute or two on each side.
- Remove fried calamari and place it a paper towel to drain excess oil.
- Set aside the fried calamari for not too long so you can immediately add it to the pizza.
- To make the base of the pizza, bake the pizza crust following box directions
- Once crispy top with marinara sauce, cheese, and cherry tomatoes
- Bake in the oven at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes until cheese has melted
- Once cheese is gooey melted, top pizza with fried calamari and spicy aioli sauce.
Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign but all opinions and ideas are 100% my own.