Black Squid Ink Risotto with Grilled Calamari

Black squid risotto can be found in many restaurants in Italy but not often anywhere else in the world. I suppose it is because it isn’t easy to find sepia ink. It is a powerful dye made from the ink of the cuttlefish. Where to buy it is the question. You can try to collect the ink bag when cleaning the squid, but this is difficult. It is often sold in small packets or bottles in some Italian specialty stores. You can ask your fish monger if he can order it for you. I buy it in small bottles at the fish section of the market in Switzerland or in Italy and store it in my refrigerator. I often make black tagliatelle and risotto and it always makes a big impression with guests. The ink is mild and doesn’t have a strong fishy flavor. It’s beautiful black silky color is impressive and best of all it is delicious mixed with shell fish of squid as I have here in this recipe.

Risotto Nero

Recipe Summary
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 Servings as a side dish, 2 servings as a main course

1 cup Arborio rice
5 cups chicken broth or vegetable or fish stock broth
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (light flavor)
1 small white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup good white wine
2 tablespoons seppia ink
Ground pepper
Salt as needed

Heat the stock and seppia ink in a pan and leave it on low temperature to keep it warm.

Sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil in a sauce pan. When they are translucent, add the rice and allow the rice to become opaque in color stirring it for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add the wine enough to cover the rice and stir. Cover the rice with broth until the rice has absorbed the liquid and then add more doing the same thing until the rice is al dente.

The cooking should be about 20 minutes. Remove the risotto from the stove and stir in the butter until it has melted into the rice. This will create a nice creamy risotto. Add salt to taste.

Note: If you wish you can add some squid rings or chopped the tentacles at the very end and cook only a few minutes. Squid cooks very fast and it will be nice and tender with just a few minutes cooking time.

Grilled Squid

Remove the tentacles, sac, beak, eyes and spine and wash any sand off the squid. Using a kitchen scissors cut the squid lengthwise. You can either cut it in quarters or in half lengthwise. Make small incisions in both directions with a very sharp knife on the inside flesh of the squid.

This will help to keep the squid flat instead of curling up.
Place them on long wet skewers.

Place them on a very hot grill a few minutes on each side. You will see when they start to brown. Squid can become very rubbery so the timing is critical. Salt them immediately.


~ by Patricia Turo on August 30, 2010.

One Response to “Black Squid Ink Risotto with Grilled Calamari”

  1. This is interesting! I’ve never used squid ink to cook other dishes except when I cook the squids without removing the ink


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: