Recipes from Le Marche

Stuffed Calamari (Squid)

Maria and I recently indulged in the culinary delight of stuffed calamari during our visit to the charming town of Ascoli Piceno in Le Marche. Our friends introduced us to this traditional dish, which has a special place in the hearts of the locals. Stuffed calamari takes center stage on the tables of Le Marche during festive gatherings and special occasions.

We couldn't help but be enchanted by the burst of colors and inviting aromas that graced our plates and, after much convincing, our hosts to let us in on their family's secret recipe. The only condition being I share it only with you.  

The dish's simplicity is its beauty. Stuffed calamari is a testament to Le Marche's culinary tradition, where quality ingredients are allowed to shine, and it epitomizes the region's deep connection to the Adriatic coast, highlighting the freshest seafood caught from the nearby waters. The fresh calamari, combined with locally sourced produce, delivers a harmonious blend of flavors, celebrating the region's unique gastronomic heritage.

Our visit to Le Marche left an indelible mark on our taste buds as we enjoyed this culinary masterpiece. Stuffed calamari from this region is more than just a dish; it's a sensory journey, a reflection of the rich cultural and culinary tapestry woven by the people of Le Marche. It is a tribute to their enduring love for the sea and the bounties it offers.


This Marche recipe is for four people, but the garlic is optional and is not always included. Basically,  include it only if you like garlic; otherwise, you can easily leave it out. Personally, I love garlic, so when I make this, plenty of garlic is included. The more garlic you use, the more parsley you should add, for the sake of friends and family.

  • Grated pecorino cheese to taste
  • 4 tablespoons of a good quality olive oil
  • A pinch of salt to taste
  • About a 1/4 of a small glove of garlic
  • small bunch of parsley
  • 16 gr. (0.564 ounces) of breadcrumbs
  • 18 large calamari bodies,
  • the same weight in tentacles as the bodies.
  • 2 egg yolks
  • black pepper

Cooking Instructions

Prepare the stuffing.

  1. Do this by finely dicing the garlic, the parsley, and the tentacles of the calamari.
  2. Fry the bread crumbs in oil and add the tentacles, garlic, and parsley. Fry it all together for a few minutes, and then take it off the heat. You can also add a little white wine while cooking, which I always do.
  3.  Add in the egg yolks, salt and pepper, and grated pecorino. The texture needs to be that of a paste so that you can easily stuff the bodies.

Fill the Bodies

  1. Fill the calamari bodies with the mixture and close them with toothpicks. Don't overfill them, as otherwise when you cook them, the ingredients will expand and burst the calamari.
  2. Grease the calamari well with olive oil and grill on a hot grill, turning often, until a golden brown. Make sure you don't overcook the calamari; otherwise, they tend to become very rubbery.

For many more wonderful recipes from the Le Marche region of Italy get a copy of Cucina of Le Marche: A Chef's Treasury of Recipes from Italy's Last Culinary Frontier (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)

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