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Cuttlefish risotto

This risotto has a Croatian influence and could be considered more of a rice stew than true risotto. It contains simple flavours of garlic and chilli, combined with a delicious light cuttlefish.


  • 300g risotto rice

  • 500g cuttlefish, cleaned, bones and trimmings reserved, from sustainable sources

  • optional: 1 litre organic chicken stock

  • 1 red onion

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 3 large ripe tomatoes

  • ½ a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • olive oil

  • 30g unsalted butter

  • 3 anchovies, from sustainable sources

  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée

  • 50ml white wine

  • 1 teaspoon cuttlefish ink, from sustainable sources

  • 1 fresh red chilli

  • 1 lemon

  • extra virgin olive oil


  • 1.

    Cook the risotto rice in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain and spread out on a tray to cool (there’s no need to rinse it).

  • 2.

    Carefully score the underside of the cuttlefish in a criss-cross pattern, then chop into 2cm pieces along with the tentacles.

  • 3.

    To make the fish stock, place the reserved cuttlefish skin, bones and trimmings into a large pan. Cover with the chicken stock (if using) or 1 litre of boiling water and place over a high heat. Bring to the boil, simmer for 20 minutes, then strain into another pan and leave over a low heat to keep warm.

  • 4.

    Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Deseed and dice the tomatoes. Pick the parsley leaves and set aside, then finely chop the stalks.

  • 5.

    Heat a splash of olive oil and the butter in a medium pan on a medium heat, then add the onion, garlic and whole anchovies. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until softened.

  • 6.

    Add the cuttlefish, parsley stalks, tomatoes, tomato purée, white wine, cuttlefish ink and 500ml of stock. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the cuttlefish is tender.

  • 7.

    Finely chop the parsley leaves, deseed and finely slice the chilli, then combine in a bowl with most of the lemon juice and a splash of extra virgin olive oil.

  • 8.

    Gently fold the cooled risotto rice into the pan and add a good squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with the chilli-spiked parsley oil drizzled on top.

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