I was raised in an Italian American household in suburban New Jersey where fried calamari was doused in red sauce, or “gravy”, as some of my paesani like to call it. For 23 years, I was content to pair these 2 totally unrelated things. Only after moving to Italy did I really learn how to eat and I discovered the glory of eating unadulterated calamari and LOTS of other deep fried seafood.
When dining in Italy, ask for a frittura di paranza to get a sampling of a region’s local fish dusted with flour and deep fried olive oil. At the most, squeeze a bit of lemon over the plate, then dig in!