For this Venetian classic, we went to the experts: Al Covo, the restaurant where we had the best fritto misto in Venice.
Yield: serves 4
- 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups cake flour
- Sparkling mineral water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 lb. whole small shrimp, peeled
- 1⁄4 lb. sole filet, cut into 2″ × 3″ pieces
- 1⁄4 lb. squid, cleaned and cut into rings and tentacle pieces
- 1⁄4 lb. bay scallops
- Peanut oil
- Grapeseed oil
- 1⁄4 lb. green beans, trimmed
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, seeded, and sliced into strips
- 1 medium zucchini, trimmed and thinly sliced
- Mix cornstarch and ⅓ cup of each flour with 1 cup of sparkling water until it reaches the consistency of a thin batter, adding more water if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Chill shrimp, sole, and squid together in one bowl of ice water and scallops in another.
- Preheat oven to lowest setting. Pour equal amounts of peanut and grapeseed oil into a large, heavy skillet to a depth of 2″. Heat over high heat until hot but not smoking. Mix together remaining all-purpose and cake flours. Drain shrimp, sole, and squid and dredge in flour. Fry in batches until seafood is crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels, then transfer to oven to keep warm. Drain scallops, dredge in flour, and fry until crisp, about 1 ½ minutes. Drain and transfer to oven.
- Dip vegetables into reserved batter and fry in batches until crisp, about 2 minutes. Combine vegetables and seafood on a platter, sprinkle with salt and serve with lemon wedges, if you like.