Photo by Livguine
Roman Style Braised Cuttlefish
Ciao from Torino, Piemonte! I’m an Australian woman living in Italy over the last year to learn more about cooking, wine, organic farming and Italia, and writing to you as we come out of one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe.
A few weeks ago, the first easing of lockdown was announced allowing families to finally reunite. Thus, the family of my Italian boyfriend wasted no time in getting together for a long-awaited dinner.
It was a small occasion with just myself, my boyfriend and his parents and it reminded me of how special sharing a meal together is, especially in times like these. There is really no substitute for coming together to drink wine, break bread and share stories and laughter together and I think this is something that everyone is treasuring here post-lockdown.
My boyfriend’s father is a fantastic cook and prepared this dish for us which is traditionally from the region Lazio in the South of Italy.
It’s slightly sweet, and the fish is so tender it melts in the mouth. Peas are also in season here which makes this dish even more delightful, although frozen peas work just as well. This is his recipe, with a few of my own twists and tips. We like it eaten on toasted bread rubbed with a clove of smoked garlic.
I hope you give it a try and enjoy with your loved ones over a glass of chilled wine and chatter. For us, it’s the perfect antidote to getting back to a bit of normality in very different times.
Roman Style Braised Cuttlefish
- 2-3 large cuttlefish
- Half a brown onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- Half a glass of white wine
- Water or seafood bisque
- Tin of tomatoes
- 2 handfuls of peas
- Half a tsp sugar
- Toasted bread
- 1-2 cloves smoked garlic for the bread
- On a very low heat begin to saute half an onion (diced), the cuttlefish (sliced into bite sized pieces) and the garlic together. As the fish cooks it will release some liquid, so continue cooking through until the liquid evaporates.
- When the onion is soft, add half a glass of white wine on a high fire and cook for a few minutes before decreasing the heat again. Add enough water or seafood bisque to cover the fish and cook through for 15-20 minutes.
- Next, add the tin of tomatoes and cook without a lid for thirty minutes to reduce the sauce.
- Add a few handfuls of fresh or frozen peas to the saucepan (they only need a few minutes to cook), half a teaspoon of sugar and three pinches of sea salt.
- Right before serving, toast some sourdough bread or white crusty bread and rub a clove of smoked/non smoked garlic onto the bread.
- Add a small handful of chopped thyme leaves to the fish. Serve with the cuttlefish and peas atop the sliced toasted bread. Buon appetito!
Livguine’s Top Tips:
1. Add your herbs towards the end of the cooking always - if fresh herbs cook for a long time they tend to become bitter.
2. Always add a pinch of sugar when cooking with tomatoes to balance out the acidity.
3. Never cook with a wine you wouldn’t happily drink a glass of. You don’t need to spend a fortune, but a bad tasting wine will permeate the flavour of your dish.