Risotto nero con le seppie. From Venice. This is quite a spectacular dish, but probably not to everyone’s taste. If you can’t find cuttlefish you can use squid. The tricky part is removing the ink sac when you clean them. I have to admit that I chickened out and bought a preprepared sachet. 50c well spent in my opinion. The recipe called for fish stock, but I used water as the cuttlefish has quite a strong flavour and I don’t think you’d be able to taste the difference.
Black cuttlefish risotto ingredients
1kg cuttlefish, cleaned and the ink sacs reserved
1 litre fish stock or water
3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
175ml dry white wine mixed with 150ml water
350g risotto rice
salt and pepper
Cut the cuttlefish into strips or dice.
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over a low heat for a few minutes, stirring from time to time.
Add the cuttlefish and season with salt and pepper. Go easy on the salt as cuttlefish can be quite salty. Cook until the pieces have turned white.
Add the wine and water, cover and simmer over alow heat until tender. Timing depends on the size of the strips, but it’l probably be around 20 minutes.
Stir in the rice and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Zuppa di pesce alla Brindisina. A couple of weeks ago I got together with a couple of friends in order to cook a fish ‘soup’ . Soup is a bit of a misnomer, as there isn’t really that much liquid involved. It was an all day project involving a trip to the fish market in the morning, lots of preparation in the afternoon (why are mussels so time consuming to clean? I’d happily eat them every day if I didn’t have to spend an age scraping and pulling off various unsavoury parts 🙂 ) and cooking and eating in the evening. I glad to say it was worth the effort. Serves 4
Fish soup ingredients
600g scorpion fish (or any other firm white fish – we used hake), cleaned and definned.
350g squid, cleaned and cut into pieces.
150g cuttlefish, cleaned and cut into pieces.
300g mussels, cleaned and debearded.
200g clams, scrubbed
300g tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped.
1 stick celery, finely chopped.
1 onion, finely chopped.
1 sprig parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped.
1/2 glass olive oil
4 slices stale bread
Soften the onion and celery in a large pan. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until the start to break down and form a sauce.
Add the squid and cuttlefish and cook until they start to become tender – 10-20 minutes.
Add the mussels, clams and chilli, stir and then lay the fish on top. Cover and cook over a low heat until the fish sarts to flake (check from time to time with a fork).
To serve, place a slice of bread in the bottom of a bowl, sprinkle on a little garlic and parsley and spoon the soup on top.
This would go just as well with squid. Be careful when removing the cuttlefish ‘bone’ as it’s important to leave the body sack whole. Don’t worry about skinning them as the skin will burn off on the grill. Serves 4
8 medium cuttlefish
150 grams pecorino Romano — grated
150 grams bread crumbs
1 medium egg
2 cloves garlic — finely chopped
1 sprig parsley — finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers — finely chopped
4 fillets anchovies — finely chopped
salt and pepper
Clean the cuttlefish, keeping the body whole. Finely chop the tentacles.
Mix together in a bowl, the tentacles, bread crumbs,egg, garlic, parsley,
capers, anchovies, pepper and a good slug of olive oil.
Carefully stuff the bodies with the mixture.
Brush with olive oil, season with salt and grill for about 20 minutes