Fritto Misto of Calamari, Lemon and Scallops!

This popular seafood antipasti, is an Italian dish that literally means “fried mixture”. In this case I used calamari and scallops, but you could also add mussels and shrimp or any other seafood you like. The most important things are to get your oil hot, never overcook your fish, and keep your breading nice and light.

For this reason, I love using Mario Batali’s recipe because he uses cornstarch to bread the fish, which gives it such a nice light flavor, and the taste of the fish is not buried by gobs of breading.
I adapted it a little, in that I added to the cornstarch mixture some sliced jalapeno for spice, which was a big hit by the way, and some green beans for color and crunch. Serve with warm marinara for dipping.

Recently I received a book for review called the “Feast of the Seven Fishes“, it’s about an Italian American family preparing and cooking for this traditional feast. It’s a fun read, the characters in the book might remind you of some of your own relatives, it did me.

But more than that, I walked away with the thought of how certain foods and traditions connect us all with fond memories and feelings that stay with us throughout our entire lives, no matter what nationality or culture we’re a part of. I’m going to be sending this dish off to my good friend Maryann, over at Finding La Dolce Vita.

She’s hosting this special event along with Joe, from Italyville.
I’m coming in at the last minute, but I’ll still be able to make the party!
Buon Appetito!!
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  1. Delicioso!!! I can’t wait to see the roundup of delcious foods from the sea.

  2. Oh, I’m so pleased you came to the feast.

    Just look at that – even your lemon is a work of art!

  3. You did a wonderful job here, Marie.
    Big hug,
    maryann xox

  4. I have to try that cornstarch idea. Love the jalapeños. And frying the lemon is brilliant.

    You are so right Marie, how certain foods and food memories do connect us, isn’t it interesting how a little fried calamari or a roasted turkey are so much more than just fuel for the body? Made with love, that’s the secret ingredient.

  5. Yikes, that looks good! I like light breading – I’m going to have to try the corn starch thing.

  6. This looks like the perfect seafood antipasti! We always had seafood on Christmas Eve (including eels — yikes! Of course, I was 8 at the time and never touched the things), and I’d like to incorporate some seafood back into Christmas Eve now that I’m doing it, but I have something of a fear of cooking fish. This looks so wonderful that I am just going to have to get past those fears and try it!

  7. Thanks for participating Marie! I love fritto misto… I have to get dad (who always cooks Christmas eve) to add some new dishes this year (he’s Calabrese, so very hard headed) but I think I can squeeze this in! buon natale!

  8. This has to be one of my favourite fish dishes, but I don’t make it often because the house smells so afterwards! The added vegetables and lemon are a great idea.

  9. This looks delicious! One day I will break down and make this, even if it makes my house smell like fried fish for a few days! Thanks also for the book recommendation. I just purchase three of them and finished my Christmas shopping!

  10. Hi Marie.

    We’ve had Mario’s fritto misto at his NYC restaurant DelPosto and it was FABULOUS! Yours looks even better.


  11. Marie, This looks so delicious, light and colourful. I am going to try this for New Years eve supper, thanks for the Mario Batali’s recipe. buon natale!. Kathy.

  12. I love your fritto misto Marie.. and the inclusion of lemons and green beans, it does look pretty and colorful! I have never tried the cornstarch either, but I would much rather be able to taste the fish so that’s a great idea!
    Ciao and hugs!

  13. Wow Marie… This really looks yummy… I love all your choices and yes I love Jalapenos….YUMO!!!


  14. YUM Marie…absolutely delicious. As healthy as I want to be, the randon fried stuff just gets me fixated. I love the light cornstarch breading, & the lime & beans.

  15. Oh, Marie, this is so funny… I was just looking for recipes for shortbread and for calamari fritto and I went to yours and Val’s blogs. Woooohooo!

    My mother is moving here and this is her FAVORITE and I wanted to learn how to make it (she gets it take out from a fave Italian restaurant in NYC, where she currently lives).

    Lovely addition to Seven Fishes Feast!

  16. I love the addition of scallops–my all time fav.
    Nothing like deep fried seafood. Love that you did the lemon too. You always have such tempting photos.

  17. So delicious, my favourite meal, especially when I eat it in Italy 🙂

  18. Oh this looks fantastic Marie and I would love to have this on Christmas Eve!! Great entry into the event…I’m trying to pull something together. Will have to look for that book! Sounds good!

  19. Looks wonderful and all of my favorites! Fritto misto is a very popular Piemontese tradition, including on Christmas eve, when they get to the fried biscotti I start to go off of it a bit. I much prefer the seafood and veggies!

  20. Oh lordy, I sighed out loud when I saw this! YUM! I love, love, love this and it’s just perfect for my Italian household in these days before Christmas. How perfect, too, that they are gluten free!!! Yippee!!!

  21. Enjoy the feast, Marie! What a wonderful tradition.

  22. Our xmas eve dinner always began with a large platter of fried calamari. They are always everybody’s favorite, and your look fabulous.

  23. I have tried Mario’s recipe with cornstarch before and it is wonderful! Thanks for inspiring me to make this again. But I’ve never been able to find calamari in my local grocery stores.

  24. This is my favorite finger food! When my Dad was alive he made this every Christmas Eve….I love food memories! I have to make this!

  25. Yum, one of my favourites! Fritto misto is an absolute must on Christmas eve!!

  26. Now you already know this looks completely awesome!!!

  27. Hi Marie!

    I never thought to use cornstarch! Another great tip I’ve learned from you 🙂 I’ve heard of using Panko bread crumbs, which are Japanese and very fine and light also.

    I married a Calabrese (waving to Joe up above who is of Calabrain descent) so we always have to have the same fish for the “Feast of the 7 Fishes” he grew up having every year — that’s lots of baccala — lol!

    Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    We’ll be traveling to see our grandson soon — we can’t wait!

    Hugs, Pat

  28. I can imagine that the cornstarch made this light and delicious! Super snacks for the feast!

  29. This looks so much like our Thalassina Tiganita (fried seafood) and I too have like the result of adding corn starch into the mix. I’m betting you make a batch of these Dec.24th.

  30. Eating this would make me extremely happy. Excellent photo!

  31. YUM, YUM, YUM, my favourite:)