This is definitely a surprise if you’ve never seen it. A beautiful, interesting and striking black dish which always seems to prompt a few questions. There is a general Italian consensus that cheese is not served with fish or seafood pastas and risottos, but naturally you may decide to serve freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
1.5 litres (6 cups) fish stock
700 g (1 lb 9 oz) squid with their ink, or about 10 g (1/4 oz) of separate squid ink
4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion
3 garlic cloves
250 ml (1 cup) white wine
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) risotto rice
1 tbsp tomato passata
1/2 a dried red chilli
50 g (13/4 oz) butter
a small bunch of parsley leaves
- Heat the fish stock in a saucepan on the stovetop.
- Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic
- Chop the parsley leaves
- Clean and cut the squid.
1. Pull the tentacle part from the body and pull out the transparent bone from the cavity, and discard. Rinse well under cold water. Hold the tentacles firmly with one hand, squeezing out the hard beak and cut off at this point, carefully reserving the ink sacs in a small bowl. The tentacle part should now resemble a neat crown.
2. Rinse under cold water.
3. Cut the body part into thin rings and divide the tentacles into four.
1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavybottomed saucepan. Sauté the onion with some of the whole garlic until soft, then add the squid.
2. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté until the liquid from the squid has evaporated. Remove the garlic and discard.
3. Pour in the wine and let it evaporate before adding the rice. Stir to coat and let the rice cook for a minute.
4. Add the tomato passata, the chilli and a couple of ladlefuls of hot stock. When the liquid has been absorbed, add more stock and keep stirring, making sure you move the rice at the bottom of the saucepan to prevent it from sticking. Continue adding hot stock as it is absorbed.
5. After about 10 minutes, add the reserved squid ink and cook for another 5–10 minutes before tasting the rice. It should be soft yet firm, and the texture should be creamy and slightly liquid.
6. Cook for longer if necessary, adding hot water if you run out of stock. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
7. Stir in the butter and serve immediately, scattered with the remaining parsley and grated Parmesan cheese, if you like.
From the book "Twelne A Tuscan book", by Tessa Kiros. Murdoch books.