Spicy Squid Ink Risotto (without the plane ticket)

March 14, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
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

What You'll Need
  • Risotto
  • 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
  • Squid
  • 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.
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12 Reviews

pierino March 19, 2010
Sounds delicious. In Venice they would use "seppie" which are cuttlefish (another squid like creature) which aren't too hard to find, especially if you are on the east coast. They are broader, fatter, and you clean them the same way.
NakedBeet March 20, 2010
I'll have to look for that next time around then, along with the more authentic Vialone nano for this dish, which I've since read can be used with twice the amount of water initially, left to cook without stirring at all and then finished off with some stock for extra creaminess. Thanks for the heads up!
coffeefoodwrite March 19, 2010
Looks very delicious! Can't wait to try! =)
TasteFood March 16, 2010
Hard to resist squid with anything, and this risotto looks and sounds delicious!
lastnightsdinner March 16, 2010
We get great local calamari from Point Judith here in RI, and it's one of my favorites. This is definitely going on the list :)
NakedBeet March 17, 2010
Lucky woman to have fresh catch nearby! ; )
The D. March 16, 2010
Yum. Will be making this with my next batch of chicken stock. Thanks.
shayma March 15, 2010
gorgeous! love this dish. you are so right, why cant we transport a dish, across the oceans, into our home?
student E. March 15, 2010
lechef March 15, 2010
This looks great! I have been asking about squid ink at the two grocery stores near me in NYC (Fairway and Citarella) and neither of them ever have it. I was looking to get the actual ink sacs from fresh squid, and apparently most of the squid these days arrives already cleaned, and devoid of ink. I'll have to make a trip down to Chelsea Market, it seems!
NakedBeet March 14, 2010
Thanks. I got the squid ink fresh in a very small bottle a while back. I think I got it from NY's Chelsea market. There's an Italian specialty market there with great olives and nice honeys, too. I found the link for it:
dymnyno March 14, 2010
This sound really good. Where did you get the squid ink? Does it come frozen, fresh, canned...?