Legendary Dishes | Calamari Ripieni in Brodo di Pesce (stuffed squid in fish broth)


One of the oldest recipes from the Adriatic, and not exclusively associated with Italy, never mind Venice. Think of it as a dish that predates the invasion of American foods, vis beans, chillies, corn and tomatoes, filled with the produce from field and forest.

  • 8 small squid, cleaned, bodies separated from legs
  • 250 ml strong fish stock
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 75 ml spring water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50 g leaves (from chard, chicory, spinach), cooked, chopped
  • 45 g breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp herbs (from lovage, marjoram, rocket, sage), fresh, chopped
  • 8 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 20 g pine nuts
  • 15 g raisins, soaked in 50 ml red wine
  • 10 g walnuts, crushed, chopped
  • 10 small capers, rinsed and drained
  • 20 black peppercorns, coarse ground
  • 8 toothpicks

Blend breadcrumbs and herbs for two minutes, flush out with water and leave to soak, about an hour. Pour red wine from the soaked raisins into a saucepan, boil and wilt the leaves, about three minutes, drain and leave to cool. Pour white wine into the stock, boil, add squid and simmer the bodies for five minutes, leaving the legs to cook gently. Combine all the ingredients, spoon into squid sacs, secure with a toothpick. Place the squid in the stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with the legs in a small ladleful of the broth.