Culinary Institute of America Recipe
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Calamari Fritti in Carpione

Lightly Pickled Fried Squid

This and other great recipes are in The Culinary Institute of America's A Tavola! Recipes and Reflections on Traditional Italian Home Cooking cookbook.

Calamari fritti in carpione recipe by The Culinary Institute of America



Makes 8 Servings

  • 2 lb squid, cleaned
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 red onions, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 4 bay leaves (preferably fresh)
  • 5 or 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 3 qt oil peanut or canola oil, or as needed for frying
  • 1 lb all-purpose flour, or as needed
  • Salt and pepper as needed


  1. Wash the squid and cut the body into half-inch-wide rings; leave the tentacles as they are.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Separate the onion slices into rings, add them to the olive oil, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until they wilt. Add the rosemary, bay leaves, and whole peppercorns. Let the flavors develop together for 2 to 3 minutes, and then add the vinegar. Bring to a simmer, remove from the heat, and set aside.
  3. Heat the peanut or canola oil in a deep pan to 375°F. (There should be about 2 inches of oil in the pan with at least 4 inches of space above the surface of the oil.) Dredge the squid in flour, shake off any excess, and immediately put the squid into the hot oil, making sure the pieces don’t stick together.
  4. When lightly crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes, remove the squid from the oil with a slotted spoon or spider and blot them briefly in a paper towel-lined pan. Season with salt while very hot.
  5. Place a layer of the fried squid in a casserole or deep oval plate and pour some of the onion-vinegar marinade on top of the pieces. Continue making layers of squid and remaining marinade. Let the squid absorb the marinade for at least 1 hour before serving.
Chef's Note: If you use frozen squid, soak them in a little milk before dredging them in the flour.

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