Simply fried assorted seafood is a popular appetizer all over coastal Italy—and especially along the shores of the Adriatic.

Yield: serves 4-6


  • 2 cups flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 12 lb. whitebait or smelts, cleaned
  • 34 lb. squid or cuttlefish bodies, cleaned and cut into 1” rings
  • 14 lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Arugula
  • 2 lemons, cut in wedges


  1. Place flour in a medium bowl, season with salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly. Pour milk into a separate bowl. Heat about 3” oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Dip fish in milk, a few pieces at a time, then dredge in flour. Repeat process, dipping squid and shrimp first in milk, then in flour.
  2. Shake excess flour from fish and seafood, then fry in batches, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and then transfer to a large platter. Garnish with arugula and serve with lemon wedges.