Seppie al Nero (Black Cuttlefish)

Sometimes you have to experiment with new tastes, just to see if you like them. In this recipe, that new taste belongs exclusively to the squid ink.

It was a little odd to work with, being quite viscous and staining everything it touched. Watering it down was a necessity simply because it was too concentrated to sit by itself.

How did it taste? Well, with a dish with the strong taste of cloves, its difficult to say. In fact, that was the weird thing about this dish – Having it sit at a simmer for an hour, it muted the flavor of the major ingredients, creating a more subdued dish. A subtle dish made with cloves – who would have thought this was possible? That’s Venetian cooking for you. All those years as the center of the spice trade means that they know how to cook with the stuff.

Would I make it again? Probably not, but if I saw it on the menu of an Italian restaurant, I’d order. Is that a positive response? I don’t know.

  • 1 onion, white, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 lb cuttlefish or squid, cleaned and separated
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 oz squid ink
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • Lemon Juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil until soft, about five minutes.Add the bay leaf and the cuttlefish with a pinch of the ground cloves. Pour in the white wine and cover, lowering the heat to a simmer (about 185 degrees F). Cover and let sit for about twenty minutes.

Mix the squid ink with 6 tablespoons of warm water. After the initial twenty minutes, add the ink to the cuttlefish, mixing in thoroughly. Cover again, and allow to simmer for another 40 minutes.

After cooking, remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4-6