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Cuttlefish in black ink sauce with polenta

  • 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Easy
  • Second Courses
An elegant dish that blends the flavors of the land and the sea.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • 1 ¼ lb baby cuttlefish
  • ½ lb fresh tomatoes
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • oz squid ink
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ lb corn flour
  • 4 cups water
  • salt to taste


Step 1

Clean the cuttlefish removing the innards and bone. Set aside the ink sack. Place a pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add peeled garlic cut in half and the cuttlefish.

Cuttlefish on polenta with black sauce - step 1

Step 2

Cook for a minute then add white wine. Once it has evaporated, adjust the salt and pepper. Mix together and add chopped tomatoes. Cook for about 3 minutes. Then, add chopped parsley and the cuttlefish ink. Stir and remove from the heat.

Cuttlefish on polenta with black sauce - step 2

Cuttlefish on polenta with black sauce - step 3

Cuttlefish on polenta with black sauce - step 4

Step 3

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Then add salt. Use one hand to slowly add the polenta flour and use the other hand to stir. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon so that the polenta doesn’t clump. Cook for 45 minutes.

Step 4

Once done, spoon soft polenta into bowls and place the cuttlefish in their ink on top.

Serve immediately.

Cuttlefish on polenta with black sauce - step 5

Chef's tips

The cuttlefish ink should be added at the end of cooking because it tends to loose its color if exposed to heat.

Polenta is an ancient food. Although corn was not introduces to Europe until the end of the 17th century, people have been cooking ground grains in water since prehistory. In Ancient Rome, “plus” was a dish or ground spelt or fava beans, served with meat or cheese – very similar to the way in which polenta is used today. In the Middle Ages, polenta made with chestnut or buckwheat flour were considered poor man’s food. Strangely, once corn arrived in Europe, corn meal polenta was considered exotic and serves to the rich. Over the course of just a few years, however, polenta became the symbol of northern Italian farmers.

Did you know that...

Cuttlefish were already known and loved by the Ancient Romans? A cuttlefish recipe appears in the cookbook, De re coquinaria, written by Apicius, the most important Roman gastronome.

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