Italian Recipes: Cooking Traditional “Cucina Italiana” Foods: Fish – Cuttlefish Black Rice

 Italian Recipes: Cooking Traditional “Cucina Italiana” Foods:  Cuttlefish Black Rice – Aldentekitchen

This typical fishermen “Risotto” is from my own town, Genova. Still “Sepias” or Cuttlefish are abundant in our sea, the “Mar Ligure” and the fresh Sepias price is not so high alike for other fishes, for example the cost of fresh “Calamari” or Squids cost is at least four times more that of Sepias. Caracteristic of Sepias & Calamari is the black ink which has a good fishy taste and can be used to prepare dishes, Sepia black ink is more delicate and tasty than the Calamari black ink. We never used the Octopus black ink in our dishes preparations, the taste is quite different and too strong. You can find Calamari black ink at the marked and in the fisheries, but the fresh one is another story, there is no match.









  If you like snorkling or diving, when you meet a Cuttlefish in the water you see all the beautifulness of the nature in it, many varieties of colors with sudden changes, the dance the Cuttlefish do during the period they fall in love… simply beautiful!

Dead , the Cuttlefish became gray and white, often with brown notes on top of the skin, it is a pity to kill so beautiful creature, but still we do, alike other animals…what to say this make me sad, but it’s OK, let’s go to see the recipe of this wonderful “Risotto al Nero di Seppia” ! 




I inform you that in this post there are bloody photos related to the preparation of this recipe: if you are sensitive to blood please don’t go further.





 Cuttlefish must be very fresh, or you cannot use the black because it become too sticky and hard to melt. You must check the fish eyes, still transparent, the skin, still firm, the smell, it has to be a pleasant smell of sea.

first thing to to is to take out the Cuttlefish bone, so let’s go to make a cut in the skin covering it, as in the picture









 open the skin and grab firmly the bone with your fingers, then pull it out












 this is the bone, we will discard it but, if you have birds in your house, you can wash it and let it dry for few days, then give it to your birds, they will love it! (Birds use it to sharpen their beaks, if they produce eggs they eat some of it, too.)











 Without squeezing, grab the head with one hand, detach the internal muscle as I do in the category “Preparations” “Cleaning Squid” then grab the legs with the other hand and pull until you separated the Cuttlefish in two parts, what is indicating my finger is the “Black Ink” of the Cuttlefish










 you can easily separate the sack containing the black ink with your fingers, but be delicate: if it breaks you will have black all around! (it is easy to clean too: use only fresh water)










 to get easy out the sack of ink, you have to catch it with your fingers in the spot I indicate in the picture










 use your thumb and first finger, grab it firmly and pull slowly












 the sack will separate from the rest of the Cuttlefish internal organs












 here you can see in detail where to grab and pull












 this sack contains soft and fresh black ink: will keep it inside a glass, to use it later.











 Let’s go to gush out the Cuttlefish beak with the point of a knife












 here we go!












 we have to get off the material to dispose












 we can use a knife, or scissors or even our fingers












Cuttlefish brain and internal organs are soft and easy to separate from the flesh












 you see in my hand I got everything we dispose,













 I left only the eyes which I gonna cut with the knife












 then I squeeze them to exit the material inside













 we discard the eyes












 wash well the Cuttlefish flesh with running fresh water












it is difficult to peel the skin of the legs, do a cut under the eyes 












 grab the skin firmly with your fingers and pull… 












… also for the head do your best to skin off completely the Cuttlefish! by the way, if some skin remain attached, doesn’t matter, we can cook and eat it!











 wash again very well the flesh, pay particular attention to the tentacles where you can find sand, clean the tenctacles with your fingernails under the running water alike I do in the category “Preparations” “Cleaning Squid”







  Italian Recipes: Cooking Traditional “Cucina Italiana” Foods:  Cuttlefish Black Rice – Aldentekitchen




with a sharp knife slice in small pieces the head….












 and the legs in small cubes, then put in to a container









 Italian Recipes: Cooking Traditional “Cucina Italiana” Foods:  Cuttlefish Black Rice – Aldentekitchen





 the best ingredients to complete this recipe are Onion, Garlic, Sage, Salt Capers and Pine Cones…










 …and good Extra Virgin Olive Oil, too!

put half glass of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in to the pot you will use to make “Risotto”, the pot must have high border and big enough to contain four times the quantity of Rice, at least! so for a cup of rice you’ll need a pot capable of at least 4 cups of water, this is the minimum because we will add broth, water, tomato juice and wine.











 warm up the oil,













 and let’s make the “Soffritto” adding firstly the chopped onions, we leave the Onions fry few minutes until they fade…












 …meanwhile we prepared the Salt Capers, we use water to clean the Capers from the salt…













 wash for two three times the salt off..













 as capers look without salt we can use them, just squeeze the water off!












 …let’s go back to the “Soffritto”! Onions faded already, it’s time to drop the chopped Garlic!













 Garlic and Onion are frying… we prepare the sage cutting of the stem from the leaves













 after chop the Sage leaves in small pieces













 finally drop in the “Soffritto”!












 now stir very well, do not let the Sage to fry more then one minute…







  Italian Recipes: Cooking Traditional “Cucina Italiana” Foods:  Cuttlefish Black Rice – Aldentekitchen






 …and add the chopped Cuttlefish.













 stir everything, you will see in few minutes that the Cuttlefish will release some water













 it’s time for the Capers….


























 here we go!












 you can cut in pieces or put the whole Capers (usually if I have only a small quantity I go to chop them), stir for a minute or two












 then add the Pine Cones (also for Pinecones if I have only a small quantity I chop them, too)








  Italian Recipes: Cooking Traditional “Cucina Italiana” Foods:  Cuttlefish Black Rice – Aldentekitchen




 one glass of Tomato Juice is very welcome! if you don’t have fresh Tomato juice you can use that sold in vase (one and half glass) or also the concentrate (a couple of spoon) please look for a good quality











 Tomato juice will enrich the flavor but don’t put too much! The sauce must taste of fish, not of tomato! one glass is more than enough.











 half fist of salt should be added, but remember to check during the cooking time, so you can add more if needed.  












 Try always to add the salt in small quantity, so you don’t mistake













 stir well then add half glass of White Wine












 it smells so good! believe me! 













 let the alchool to evaporate

at this point if you cook other five to ten minutes  you get a good sauce for any kind of Pasta!

but today, we are going to make a masterpiece, so, please don’t let to cook but go on adding….






  Italian Recipes: Cooking Traditional “Cucina Italiana” Foods:  Cuttlefish Black Rice – Aldentekitchen



 the Rice! a good quality Rice, as Carnaroli, Rome, Arboreo, Vialone Nano…. I mean Italian Rice, you can also use a good quality “Parboiled” Rice, you have very good qualities in your country… I know, but do not use a “long” or “thin” Rice, these are not able to absorb properly the taste of this preparation and also to release the rice starch and amids which we need to make a tasty “Risotto”.   









 stir slowly but continuosly the “Risotto” pay attention it not melt and stick on the bottom of your pot, add more White Wine if needed, you can prepare a Broth using the Cuttlefish skin and water, or a Vegetable Broth, or only water, too.  Check again for the salt, then check if the Rice is cooked “Al Dente”! just take a small quantity and eat!







  Italian Recipes: Cooking Traditional “Cucina Italiana” Foods:  Cuttlefish Black Rice – Aldentekitchen




 we kept aside the sack of Black Ink, do you remember?

now we are going to use it.












 as the Rice is cooked “Al Dente” you have to cut the sack of Black Ink












 and squeeze few drops of Ink in to the “Risotto”, then quickly stir! you can add some White Wine to melt the ink easily.

as the “Risotto” become gray or black you know it is ready, do not overcook it!










This is the final result: “Risotto al Nero di Seppia”, please enjoy!!!













  Italian Recipes: Cooking Traditional “Cucina Italiana” Foods:  Cuttlefish Black Rice – Aldentekitchen


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