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Squid Ink Risotto

  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 60 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Squid ink risotto is an Italian classic and a black coloured risotto. You can use cuttlefish ink or squid ink, but you’ll definitely need Arborio rice.



  • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 5 spring onions, washed and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 225g (½lb) fresh squid or cuttlefish with its own ink and liver
  • 750ml (1 bottle) white or red wine
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) tomato puree
  • 250ml (1 cup) passata
  • 450g (1lb) carnaroli rice
  • 1 basil sprig
  • 1 parsley sprig


  1. Place the onions, garlic and olive oil in a pot and gently fry them.
  2. Cut the cuttlefish in stripes with the liver. The latter is the creamy orange block inside the animal, right behind the head.
  3. When the onion and garlic are soft, increase the heat and add the cuttlefish with a good sprinkle of salt.
  4. Stir until the flesh turns white and you start smelling the sea!
  5. Deglaze with half a bottle of wine and add the passata and puree.
  6. Add a splash of water to dilute the sauce and season to taste with salt, pepper and even some chilli. Let the mixture reach a simmering point.
  7. Drop the ink bags and stir until they burst and release the “black magic” into the sauce.
  8. Gently simmer the sauce for an hour.
  9. In the meantime, gently heat a large pan and stir the rice continuously until it’s toasted. The empirical way to check is to grab the rice with your hands and check if you can hold it. When it’s too hot to hold for more for more than a few seconds it’s ready!
  10. Pour in the remainder of the wine, half a bottle, and stir to let it evaporate. Keep cooking the rice pouring boiled, salted water little by little until cooked.
  11. When the rice is “al dente” and decently thickened, add the squid ink sauce and reduce it even more.
  12. When the texture is to your liking, add a mix of finely chopped parsley and basil.
  13. Serve hot.

  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 449
  • Sugar: 2.4 g
  • Sodium: 21 mg
  • Fat: 5.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 66.5 g
  • Fiber: 3.1 g
  • Protein: 8.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 10 mg