Stuffed Calamari from Capri: Calamari Ripieni alla Caprese

Stuffed calamariStuffed calamari is served all over Italy. On the island of Capri they are served stuffed with ricotta, Parmesan cheese and marjoram (or oregano) and prepare in a simple tomato sauce.

One of the most amazing things I ever saw was calamari being fished off the island of Capri. It is fished at night with fisherman using lights to attract the squid. Watching from a high vantage point, I couldn’t tell where the lights on the water ended and stars in the sky began. Truly amazing.

In the USA, we have the variety of squid available including traditional squid (about 2 inches in length) or large Asian squid (about 10 inches long). You can either make a large number of smaller squid or fewer large squid and slice them to serve (which is easier).

This recipe was generously provide by La Capannina restaurant located near the famous Piazzetta di Capri on the island of Capri.

Recipe for 4 servings.


  • 1 dozen small to medium squid (cleaned) or 2 jumbo Asian squid (cleaned); bodies separated from the tentacles
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta or grated ricotta salata
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • A hand full of chopped Marjoram, chopped Oregano or Parsley leaves
  • Extra virgin oil olive
  • Ground pepper
  • Toothpicks

For the sauce:

  • 1 24-ounce can of whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Sprinkle of hot chile flakes
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil


In a medium bowl, add the Ricotta, grated Parmesan cheese, egg and chopped Marjoram (or Oregano). Use your hands to mix together thoroughly. Stuff the cleaned calamari bodies with the Ricotta mixture. If using the small squid, use a pastry bag to fill; if using large Asian squid, use a teaspoon to fill. Seal each squid with a toothpick.

Calamari Ripieni alla Caprese made with jumbo Asian squid
Calamari Ripieni alla Caprese made with jumbo Asian squid

In a saute pan, add the olive oil and warm over a medium heat. Add the garlic and hot pepper flakes and saute until the garlic stars to brown. Roughly chop the tentacles and add to the hot oil. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the stuffed squid to the hot oil and saute for 2-3 minutes. on each side.  You might want to use some type of heavy implement (like a grill press) to keep the squid flattened.

After the squid has cooked about 5 minutes (2-3 minutes on each sides), add the crushed tomatoes to the saute pan. Saute over a low high for 30 minutes.

Serve the stuffed squid with a little tomato sauce and sprinkle of chopped parsley. You can use left over tomato sauce as a wonderful sauce of cooked hard pasta.

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