Past Recipes
Herb-Poached Calamari

Herb-Poached Calamari with Fregola and Caramelized Fennel

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Recipe Details


Chef Giuseppe’s “throwing out the rulebook” when it comes to calamari, trying something “unexpected, but very old-school.” He’s referring to the French court bouillon, or short broth, most often used to poach fish or seafood. Ours is simple: water with a splash of white wine vinegar, salt, and herb stems to gently infuse the calamari before they're served over buttery, Parmesan-laced fregola pasta.


  • Stovetop Only

Quick facts

Serving size
Prep & cook time
Cooking Skill
By Chef Giuseppe

By Chef Giuseppe

Nutritional info

  • Calories 630
  • Protein 34g
  • Total Carb 45g
  • Total Fat 29g

Given the cook-at-home nature of Plated and natural variation in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details.

Ingredients & Equipment

What we send

  • vegetable bouillon cube
    vegetable bouillon cube
  • fennel
    1 bulb
  • baby spinach
    2 ounces
    baby spinach
  • red onion
    red onion
  • fregola
    1/2 cup
  • white wine
    1/2 cup
    white wine
  • calamari rings
    10 ounces
    calamari rings
  • white wine vinegar
    1/4 cup
    white wine vinegar
  • grated Parmesan cheese
    1 ounce
    grated Parmesan cheese
  • unsalted butter
    3 packets
    unsalted butter
  • thyme
    1/8 ounce
  • parsley
    1/8 ounce

What You’ll Need

  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 8" medium pots, 1 with lid
  • 12" large pan


  • Soy
  • Crustacean Shellfish
  • Milk
  • Wheat

Cooking Steps

  1. Prepare ingredients

    Prepare ingredients

    In a medium pot, combine vegetable bouillon cube and 2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat; remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Roughly chop parsley and thyme leaves, keeping separate; reserve stems for Step 5. Halve fennel bulb, then cut core out in a wedge shape and discard; slice as thinly as possible. Pat spinach dry with paper towel and roughly chop. Peel onion and cut into small dice.

  2. Toast fregola

    Toast fregola

    Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a separate medium pot over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add onion and sauté, stirring, until softening, 3-5 minutes. Add fregola and cook, stirring frequently, until toasted, 2-3 minutes. Add white wine (not the vinegar) and simmer until liquid is mostly absorbed, 1-2 minutes more.

  3. Cook fregola

    Cook fregola

    Add warmed vegetable broth to pot with fregola (reserve pot from broth for the next step). Increase heat under fregola to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium high and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is mostly absorbed and fregola is tender, 13-17 minutes.

  4. Caramelize fennel

    Caramelize fennel

    While fregola simmers, fill pot from broth with water and bring to a boil over high heat for the next step. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add fennel and half of thyme and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, pat calamari dry with paper towel.

  5. Poach calamari

    Poach calamari

    To pot with boiling water, add white wine vinegar, herb stems, and 1 tablespoon salt. Simmer until flavors have melded, about 2 minutes. Then, add calamari and simmer until cooked through and tender, about 2 minutes. Drain calamari, discarding aromatics (you can also use a slotted spoon to transfer calamari to a plate). Once caramelized, season fennel with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper.

  6. Plate calamari

    Plate calamari

    Once cooked, remove pot with fregola from heat, and season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Stir in Parmesan, butter, herb-poached calamari, spinach, remaining thyme, half of parsley, and half of caramelized fennel to combine. Divide between serving plates. Top with remaining fennel, and garnish with remaining parsley. Enjoy!

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