Saturday 17 March 2018

Riso al nero di seppia

Marco Roccasalvo

RisoTTO AL NERO DI SEPPiA risotto with cuTTlefish ink

This is my version of a very special dish that subtly combines strong flavours, contrasts of colours and intoxicating aromas from the sea. I love it because the different textures come together nicely, the colours are very elegant and it truly smells of the ocean.

You must use either Arborio or Vialone Nano rice, but you can use either fresh or dry cuttlefish ink. My advice is to prepare it for a maximum of four people at a time -- and don't smile too much while you're eating!

I recommend a dry white wine to serve with this dish, one that isn't too aromatic but that has good acidity -- perhaps Greco di Tufo, Vermentino Ligure or Chablis. Serves 4.


400g whole prawns

Sea salt

30g butter

240g Arborio rice

200g petit pois

Extra-virgin olive oil

100g baby squid

2 sachets of cuttlefish ink (or 2 fresh cuttlefish ink sacs)

Olive oil, for frying


Start by cleaning the prawns. Remove the heads and set them aside, then shell the tails and keep the shells. Place the heads, shells and 12g of salt in a pot with 2 litres of water. Bring to boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Pass the cooking liquid through a sieve, discard the shells and heads and keep the resulting fish stock warm over a low heat.

Next, melt 10g of butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir in the rice and saute, stirring for about 3 minutes until the grains are coated in butter. Now cover the rice with a couple of ladlefuls of the fish stock and cook, stirring until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Continue to add the stock, a ladleful at a time, allowing it to be absorbed before adding the next ladleful. It will take about 20 minutes for the rice to cook, so after 15 minutes, add the prawns to the dish.

In a separate small pot, boil the petit pois for 5 minutes in a little salted water. Once cooked, drain and blend them with olive oil to form a bright, smooth cream. Put it through a sieve if necessary.

Cut the baby squid into thin strips and pan-fry for 5 minutes with a drop of olive oil and a pinch of salt. These will be used for presentation.

When the rice is cooked and the mixture is not too runny, remove the pan from the heat, add in the remaining butter and the cuttlefish ink and stir until the rice is nicely black and creamy.

To serve, spoon a little of the pea cream into the centre of a large soup plate and, using a ring mould, place the risotto in the centre of the plate. Place the fried squid over the risotto. Remove the ring mould carefully and serve hot.

Irish Independent

Life Newsletter

Our digest of the week's juiciest lifestyle titbits.

Editors Choice

Also in Life