Cuttlefish – Risotto al nero con seppie alla griglia

There is a big difference between cuttlefish and squid. Cuttlefish is far sweeter and only their ink should be used to flavour risotto for this reason. Cuttlefish are a bit harder to find, but you can preorder if you have a good fishmonger.

Serves 4

2 medium cuttlefish

1 sack of cuttlefish ink

300g carnaroli or vialone nano rice

4 shallots, finely chopped

160g green peas

2 small red chillies

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

80g butter, cubed

1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Hot vegetable stock

Olive oil


Clean cuttlefish, carefully reserving the ink sacs, and slice into wide strips. Dry carefully on a clean tea towel.

Place cuttlefish strips in a bowl with a generous amount of olive oil, garlic, chilli and half the parsley. Set aside.

Dip ink sacs in half a cup of boiling water and stir well to release the ink. Strain through a fine sieve or a coffee filter. Add some oil to a large saucepan over a medium heat and fry the shallots. When lightly browned, add the rice and cook until translucent. Add boiling stock, one ladle at a time, stirring until each addition is absorbed. Continue until the rice is half cooked, approximately 10 minutes, then add the peas and ink. Continue stirring the stock into the rice until it is creamy and al dente. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the butter and remaining chopped parsley. Meanwhile, heat a char grill or barbeque until very hot. Grill cuttlefish strips until browned, turning once. Season with sea salt. To serve, pile a little of the black risotto onto each plate and top with grilled cuttlefish.

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