Risotto nero


by: Monvile

A cuttlefish risotto made with cuttlefish ink looks very much like gravelly tar. However, it's extremely delicate, with much of the delicacy coming from the ink, which imparts an evenness to the cuttlefish flavor of the risotto that would have been absent otherwise. You could also make this with squid or calamari.


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serves: 4

1 lb (450 g) small, uncleaned cuttlefish

5 cups (1.2 liters) Fish Stock

2 tablespoons (25 g) butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 large shallots (minced)

3 cloves garlic (minced)

1 1/2 cups (350 g) risotto rice (such as Carnaroli or Arborio)

2/3 cup (150 ml) dry white wine

3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Facts
Risotto nero

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 860

  • Total Fat: 25.4 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 9.1 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 158.3 mg
  • Sodium: 1006.2 mg
  • Total Carbs: 108.3 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 9.6 g
  •     Sugars: 6.9 g
  • Protein: 46.1 g

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1.  Cut off the tentacles, just in front of the eyes. Remove the beak-like mouth from the center of the tentacles and discard.

2.  Separate the tentacles and pull the skin from each one.

3.  Pull the tough skin away from the body section.

4.  Run a sharp knife down the center of the back and lift out the cuttlebone.

5.  Open up the body pouch. Locate the pearly white ink sac in among the entrails and remove it carefully. Remove and discard the rest of the entrails and the head.

6.  Wash the body well, then cut it lengthwise in half. For serving raw, cut each piece across into very thin slices.

7.  Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook gently until soft but not browned.

8.  Stir in the rice so that all the grains become well coated with the oil and butter. Add the wine and simmer over a low heat for a few minutes until it has almost disappeared.

9.  Add a ladleful of stock and simmer, stirring frequently, until it has all been absorbed. Continue to add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring, until it has all been used and the rice is creamy and tender but still with a little bit of a bite-al dente. This should take 20 to 25 minutes.

10.  Heat the rest of the oil in a large frying pan. Add the cuttlefish and fry it over a high heat for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the chopped parsley, and season with some salt and pepper. Stir the Parmesan cheese into the risotto. Season with salt and pepper.

11.  Spoon the risotto into four warmed bowls and pile some of the cuttlefish into the center of each bowl. Serve straight away.

Cooks' note:
Squid would be a good substitute, but there's not enough ink in squid to make this satisfactorily. However, you can buy little sachets of ink from your fishmonger. You'll need about 4 sachets for this dish.

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