Italian squid pie

Italian squid pie – or more properly in Italian ‘Tiella di Gaeta’- is a kind of stuffed pizza traditional to the area of Gaeta and Lazio more generally. It is found in rotisseries and bakeries, as well commonly being made at home. It exists in several versions: with seafood (squid, cuttlefish and octopus), with onions, with endive and anchovies or with ricotta and spinach. Here we will show you how to prepare the version with fish, but first we want to explain briefly how to make the other types. With onions: a kilo of onions, 4 eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, some smoked cheese, flat-leaf parsley, olive oil, pepper, salt. Fry thinly sliced onions in oil. When the onions are golden, pour in the beaten eggs, chopped parsley, a little more oil, and the grated Parmesan cheese. Mix everything well. Add the smoked cheese ‘Scamorza’, in small pieces, to this filling. Pour the mixture on to one of the dough circles, cover with the second one and seal the edges well. Prick the surface of the pie, brush with oil and bake. With chicory and cod: take two kilos of soft chicory, washed, drained and with a handful of coarse salt, place a weight on top to help it macerate. Every now and then flip it over. After a couple of hours, squeeze out the water. Meanwhile, prepare the cod. 700 g fillet of shredded cod, 3 cloves chopped garlic, red pepper, a sprig of parsley, 300 grams of pitted black ‘Gaeta’ olives, and extra virgin olive oil. Mix all these ingredients with the prepared endives, stuff the pasta dough and cook as above. (NB the cod can be replaced by filleted anchovies left in oil for an entire day.) With anchovies or sardines: take fresh fish, washed, filleted and left to steep for about half an hour in dry white wine, mixed with a little vinegar. Squeeze the fish dry with your hands. Crush and add oil, garlic, pepper, salt, and pitted black olives. Stuff and proceed as above. With spinach and ricotta: a pound of spinach put in salt, like the recipe with endives. For the filling: fresh ricotta cheese, pine nuts, raisins soaked in warm water, a little butter, pepper. Then proceed as above.



120 minutes Total time
30 minutes Active time
Serves 6 persons
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With the help of a food processor, or by traditional kneading, make some bread dough and leave to rise for at least a couple of hours. Then all you have to do afterwards is prepare the filling, roll the dough into two round shapes, enclose the prepared filling, sealing tightly, and bake at 180 °C for 30 minutes. As regards the filling, Tiella Gaeta is found in various forms. The fish version that we have prepared is obtained by steaming squid or octopus, which is then cut into small pieces. Added to these are chopped tin of tomatoes, capers, olives, fresh flat-leaf parsley, salt, oil and chilli or chilli oil. Alternatively, you can use other traditional fillings: with onions, with endive and cod, with anchovies or sardines, or with ricotta and spinach.

Drain all ingredients well, otherwise the dough will become wet.
It seems that the ‘Tiella di Gaeta’ has its roots in the Bourbon period. The name ‘tiella’, as with the famous ‘tiella Bari’, is not related to the type of preparation, but to the pan in which it is cooked.

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