Local Squid Showcase

This seafood dish has the wow factor you want for a special dinner party but is so easy to cook you might want it any night of the week.

Chef Salvatore Pepe shares his recipe for Calamari Ripieni which translates as stuffed squid and has its origins in southern Italy.

The dish looks impressive (and tastes amazing) but is not difficult to create for friends and family this spring. Locally-caught squid is the star along with a roll-call of the season’s best ingredients from fresh peas to artichokes and broad beans.

Salvatore says the hardest part is preparing the squid which can be tricky but all you need to do is ask the friendly fishmongers at Frewville or Pasadena to do it for you. After that, the recipe is very easy.

Shopping list

Southern Squid/Calamari
Caught by third-generation fisherman Bart Butson from Port Wakefield.

Broad Beans
Grown by Steve Asimopolous in Barmera

Cherry Tomatoes
Salvatore uses tinned tomatoes or add fresh Calabrese mini roma tomatoes grown by Vince at Murray Bridge.

Grown by Felicia Martin at Mypolonga

Grown by Tho Tran in Adelaide

Grown by Tony Georgaras at Virginia

Fresh Peas
Daniel D. Pritchard in Bundaberg

Globe Artichokes
Ross and Josephine Mazza in Werribee, Victoria

Calmari Ripieni Recipe

(Serves 4)

• 4 large calamari (about 200g each)
• 100g fresh peas
• 200g fresh dry breadcrumbs
• 1/2 tin of cherry tomatoes
• 2 cloves of new spring garlic
• 1 small bunch of parsley
• 4 basil leaves
• 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
• olive oil
• salt to taste
• 1 small chilli

To serve
• 2 small white salad onions
• 2 artichokes
• 80g fresh peas
• 100g fresh broad beans
• olive oil
• salt to taste
• 1 lemon


  1. Chop the garlic and chilli and fry in olive oil. When golden, add tomato, half of the fresh peas, the paprika and roughly chopped herbs. Cook for 5 minutes and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the breadcrumbs (reserve 2 tbsp for the marinade) and salt to taste, mix well.
  2. Clean the inside of the calamari (or ask Frewville or Pasadena’s fishmongers to clean it for you) leaving only the wings attached. Stuff each with the crumb mix and close it at the head using a skewer to hold together. Sprinkle with reserved breadcrumbs, a little parsley and drizzle with olive oil before grilling on a hot barbecue or over charcoal, 5 minutes each side. Rest for a few minutes before slicing.
  3. To clean the artichokes, prepare a bowl with cold water and a squeeze of lemon (to prevent oxidisation). Remove the outside leaves, cut the tips about half way and peel the stalk with a potato peeler, keep them in the water until ready to cook.
  4. Place all ingredients in a pan and cook together gently with olive oil for 10 minutes or until the artichokes are soft.

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