To help tenderize, pound the calamari gently
a few times on each side using a kitchen mallet or a heavy skillet (be
careful not to tear the flesh).
Cut the calamari into ½ inch thick rings.
Pat dry with a paper towel. Make sure they are dry or you risk that they
will be more soggy than crispy.
In a large bowl add the breadcrumbs and
season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl add the olive oil.
Quickly dip the calamari rings in the oil and shake off excess. Toss the
calamari rings into the breadcrumb mixture; gently pressing to coat.
Lay the prepared calamari on a baking sheet or cutting board lined with
parchment paper as you finish preparing the batch.
Preheat the air fryer oven to 400° degrees
F. Lightly grease the basket of the air fryer with oil (or line it with
tinfoil and spray). Place the calamari rings in a basket, in a single
layer. Do not overcrowd the basket, or they won't crisp properly. Cook
in multiple batches if needed.
Cook the calamari for 8-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking.
Transfer the calamari to a plate and
immediately season with a sprinkle of salt. Repeat the steps above with
the remaining calamari. Eat the calamari immediately with some lemon
wedges and dipping sauce (if desired).