Spicy Squid Ink Risotto (without the plane ticket)

By • March 14, 2010 12 Comments

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Author Notes: I've never had the privilege to taste Risotto al Nero di Seppie in Veneto, but I don't see why a plane ticket has to stop me from recreating my own Italy on this rainy weekend. I was only a fish market visit and a squid ink bottle away. A few years ago, I had the most luscious squid ink risotto in a restaurant in N.Y. that is no longer in existence, but the novelty of the risotto and my tendency not to make it at home made it an automatic restaurant order choice for me. I've made my version with more heat and all squid instead of the seafood mixture served the night I first had it. The richness of squid ink works naturally with the creaminess of risotto rice. Squid ink has a pleasantly briny taste that is not as fishy as one might expect and is surprisingly earthy. I had frozen homemade fish stock on hand, but you could also substitute this with a mixture of clam juice and chicken stock.NakedBeet

Serves 4-6


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1 1/2 cups carnaroli rice
  • 3/4 teaspoon squid ink
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3-3 1/2 cups fish stock


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 pound whole cleaned squid, cut into rings or strips
  • salt to taste
  • 1 small sweet orange pepper
  • 1/4 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Heat the stock and keep on a low simmer while you work on the risotto. Warm up the wine before using it, as well.
  2. Melt the butter and oil in a high sided saucepan. Saute the garlic, onion, tarragon, and red chili flakes until the onions are translucent. Add the rice and toast until all the oil is absorbed and it's turning opaque and glossy. Add the wine, stirring throughout, until it is all absorbed. Stir in the squid ink and cook for about a minute.
  3. Start adding the warm fish stock, one ladle at a time, letting the rice absorb it until it is almost all gone. Keep adding the stock until the rice has 10 minutes of cooking time left.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add garlic and chili flakes and saute for a minute. Add the squid in batches to the pan and cook until you've cooked 3/4 of your squid quantity. Salt the squid as it cooks. (Reserve the rest to cook and serve as a topping). Cook the squid, tossing it gently to cook on both sides for 4-5 minutes and before it is completely done add it to the risotto to cook together with the ink. Continue adding a ladle at a time to the risotto and now start cooking the rest of your squid in the large skillet to be used as the topping.
  5. If you like your risotto on the brothy side, add some more stock to the rice once the rice is ready to be plated. Stir in the fresh parsley and finish with diced peppers and cooked squid.

More Great Recipes: Entrees|Fish & Seafood|Appetizers|Rice & Grains|Risotto

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