Black cuttlefish

Black cuttlefish

Seppie nere

By
From
Venice
Serves
4
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

I love this unusual and dramatic dish. I ate this with my friend Juliet at La Madonna. She grimaced at my black cuttlefish as I grinned at her with blackened teeth! Cleaning cuttlefish is not quick and is messy so buy them ready prepared from the fishmonger unless you want black splashes over your kitchen and clothes. Also ask for a couple of the ink sacs if they can isolate them for you. You will need this for the sauce. Alternatively, buy cuttlefish ink from a fishmonger, online or at an Italian deli.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
50g salted butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
800g cuttlefish, cleaned and cut into bite-size pieces, ink sacs reserved
100ml brandy
salt
freshly ground black pepper
handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Heat the butter and oil together in a large frying pan with a lid and when hot fry the onion and garlic over a low heat until soft. Add the cuttlefish and cook stirring frequently for 15 minutes. Pour in the brandy and ink. Allow the strong smell of brandy to dissipate for 4–5 minutes then put the lid on the pan and leave to cook over a low heat. Test a piece of cuttlefish after 45 minutes and if it is still chewy continue to cook until tender. Season, sprinkle with parsley and serve with soft polenta.
Tags:
Venice
Giancarlo
Katie
Caldesi
Venetian
Italian
European
Mediterranean
Italy
Europe
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