Squid cooked in their own ink

Seppie col Nero (Venetian dialect)

Veneto

SERVES 4

750 g (1 ¾ Ib.) very young, small squid with ink sacs (You can buy the ink in packets separately if you are using frozen squid)

2 garlic cloves, chopped

50 ml (2 fI oz) extra virgin olive oil

V2 wine glass of dry white wine

salt and freshly milled black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

You will often be able to buy squid ready prepared, either fresh or frozen.  If you cannot find it, however, here’s what to do.

  1. Pull off and discard the head and all the innards out of the body sac, reserving the ink sac.  Using sharp scissors, cut off the tentacles and discard the sharp beak from the centre.  Wash the body sac and tentacles, discarding the plastic-like quill and removing the membrane from the outside of the sac.  Cut off the two side fins.  The body sac, fins and tentacles are all ready for use.  Cut the body sac into rings or strips.
  2. Fry the garlic in the olive oil until soft. Add the squid pieces and seal them on all sides. Add the wine, partially cover and simmer for 45 minutes.  If the pan appears dry, add a little water.
  3. Add the ink from the sacs, partially cover and cook for a further 45 minutes or until tender.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve warm.

Serve with grilled or fried polenta or use as a sauce for pasta or as a base for risotto.

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