Squid ink and sherry risotto with chorizo-stuffed calamari

28 May, 2017





“The key to this risotto is to add the squid ink at the beginning so the flavour really permeates the rice rather than just colouring the outside. It does mean it’s also really rich so you’ll only need a small serving.” Shane Delia, Shane Delia’s Moorish Spice Journey


8 baby calamari, cleaned
60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
4 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
220 g (1 cup) arborio rice
100 ml Pedro Ximenez sherry
250 ml (1 cup) sweet white wine
2 tsp squid ink
500 ml (2 cups) fish stock
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
40 g butter
2 sheets fried nori, torn (see Note)


2 tbsp olive oil
2 large fresh chorizo, skin removed, cut into small dice
2 cuttlefish, cleaned and finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
30 g (½ cup) fresh breadcrumbs
95 g (½ cup) cooked short grain rice
pinch of sweet smoked paprika
1 egg, lightly beaten
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook’s notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Serve as a starter or as part of a tapas spread.

To make the stuffing, heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over high heat and cook the chorizo for 2 minutes or until golden. Add the cuttlefish, parsley and chilli and toss to combine. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool. Add the remaining ingredients and combine well.

Spoon the stuffing into the baby calamari, taking care not to over-fill them, then secure the ends with toothpicks. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5-6 minutes or until soft but not coloured. Add the rice and stir until lightly toasted and slightly translucent. Increase the heat to high, then add the sherry and wine and stir until nearly all the liquid has evaporated. Add the squid ink and a ladle full of fish stock, then reduce the temperature to low and cook, stirring often, until all the stock has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock, one ladle at a time and allowing it be absorbed before adding the next, until the rice is almost al dente. Season with nutmeg, then stir in the butter.

Nestle the stuffed calamari into the rice so that it is completely covered and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the calamari is just cooked, the stuffing is warm and the rice is al dente. Remove the calamari from the rice, remove the skewers, and place in a shallow bowl. Spoon over the rice, scatter with shards of fried nori and serve immediately.


To fry the nori sheets, heat 5 mm vegetable oil in a frying pan over high heat. Tear the nori sheets into quarters, then shallow fry on both sides for 30 seconds or just until crisp. Drain on absorbent paper, stand until cool, then tear into shards.

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