Here is a tutorial on how to clean and stuff squid. It is possible to buy them already cleaned but where is the fun in that? If you live somewhere where the squid is fresh, and maybe even still alive, then lucky you. I have to make a trip to the Asian market and raid their freezer section most of the time. Whether buying frozen or fresh make sure to get medium sized squid, about 4-6″ long not including the heads and tentacles. The larger the squid the tougher it will be but if they’re too small, they will not work for stuffing.
I like to fry them first before dropping the squid into marinara to finish cooking. Make sure to cook them uncovered or the skin will split. Now on to the fun part.
If using fresh then only wash them once or twice. For frozen keep soaking in cold water until it runs fairly clear.
Grab the head behind the eyes and pull it away, much like deheading a shrimp. Try and get all the guts with the one pull. Then reach your finger inside the body and pull out the cartilage and any other stuff. Depending on the size of the squid and how much it ate there could be whole fish inside, but most of the time there is just chunks of white fatty stuff. You can use your fingers on the outside to push the guts out a bit too, but you will have to reach in to get the really anchored stuff. Use cold running water to help loosen anything up and rinse the inside well once it is cleaned.
Take the removed head and with a sharp knife cut the tentacles off right in front of the eyes. Most commercial squid have had the ink sack removed but there can be a little left so be careful. Or wear a white dress shirt like I always do to tempt fate. The tentacles are excellent additions to any sauce or stew or good by themselves as well.
Take the tube and gently pull the spotted skin away from the flesh. Running the squid under water will help to remove it as well. Make sure to get all the skin off, including on the fins. I like to leave the fins on the body but they can be removed, just be careful not to tear a hole in the body.
Now just repeat with the other ones. Then it is on to stuffing.
For the recipe for stuffing and a look at the final product go here. Create a roll of stuffing about the size of the opening of the squid that tapers down in size much like the body does. This takes a little practice to do.
I like to organize the cleaned bodies by size. Any bodies that are torn or too small should be set aside for another dish. Push the stuffing into the casing. Do not over stuff the squid. The stuffing should go down easily and there should be at least 1/3″ space at the top that is empty. Use your finger to gently pack the stuffing down to the tip but the skin should still feel a little loose around it. The squid will tighten and shrink as it cooks so if you overdo it then the squid will split.
Take a toothpick and weave it through the top to seal the squid. If the toothpick breaks get another but make a new set of holes in the squid. Try to push it through each side at least four times.
Keep going until the stuffing is gone, starting with the largest squid and moving down in size. The stuffed squid can be made a few hours ahead of time and kept covered in the refrigerator until it is time to cook.