Sea Ink Delight: Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia. Each strand of pasta is lovingly intertwined with the velvety richness and delicious sauce of squid ink.

I was in Sicily for Christmas, and as usual, every time I visit, I ask my mother or mother-in-law to cook my favorite dishes. This time, I requested spaghetti al nero di seppia with the muddica atturrata from my mother-in-law. It’s a dish that allows no compromises. It sharply divides diners, creating a unique blend of bold, distinctive flavors that can either captivate hearts or deter palates. For me, it’s a sensual encounter with Mediterranean cuisine.

This dish represents one of the most distinctive and famous gastronomic masterpieces of Sicilian cuisine. Its regular presence on the menus of starred restaurants underscores its culinary excellence and its unique charm.

What is Nero di Seppia (squid ink)?

Nero di Seppia is employed for defensive purposes by cephalopod mollusks of the Sepiidae family, commonly known as cuttlefish. Squid or cuttlefish ink, like other cephalopod inks, is an actual pigment that accumulates in special pockets located between the gill slits.

Culinary Use

In the past, this pigment was utilized as writing ink. However, in the gastronomic field, it serves as both a food coloring and flavoring agent.

Culinary Use

In the past, this pigment was utilized as writing ink. However, in the gastronomic field, it serves as both a food coloring and flavoring agent.

How to make Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia

Main Ingredients

  • Spaghetti
  • Fresh seppie (cuttlefish)
  • Nero di seppia (cuttlefish ink)
  • Tomato concentrate
  • Organic olive oil
  • White wine
Seppie
Spaghetti al nero di seppia

Sea Ink Delight: Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia

Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 90 mins Total Time 1 hr 45 mins Difficulty: Intermediate Servings: 4 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Description

This dish represents one of the most distinctive and famous gastronomic masterpieces of Sicilian cuisine.

Ingredients

Instructions

Cleaning and cooking Seppie

    • Hold the cuttlefish firmly and gently twist the head away from the body. The tentacles are usually attached to the head. Keep the tentacles for cleaning.
    • Open the body pouch and remove the internal organs, including the ink sac. Remember to handle the cuttlefish with care to prevent the ink sac from breaking. It’s advisable to wear kitchen gloves to avoid staining your hands.
    • With a gentle touch and patience, you can clean cuttlefish and extract ink successfully.
    • Gently separate the ink sac from the cuttlefish and place the ink sac into a bowl.
    • Rinse the body thoroughly under cold running water.
    • Cut the body into strips and the tentacles into small pieces.
    • In a pot, pour a generous amount of oil along with the minced onion and garlic, and let them brown. Add the seppia and sauté for another couple of minutes.
    • Pour in a glass of white wine and let it evaporate to remove the alcoholic part, cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Pour the tomato concentrate and tomato sauce into the pot, and dilute with 1/2 glass of water. Mix thoroughly by stirring carefully, add the bay leaves, adjust the salt and pepper, and let it cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Put on a pair of kitchen gloves and break the ink sacs directly into the pot. Stir until it is uniformly colored black, and turn off the heat when the cuttlefish is tender, and the sauce has reduced.

How to tell if the cuttlefish is cooked?

    • If when trying to skewer a piece of cuttlefish with a toothpick, it easily pierces through, it means the cuttlefish is cooked. If the toothpick goes in with difficulty, then it means that the cooking needs to be extended.

Cooking spaghetti

    • To cook 400g of spaghetti following Italian cooking principles
    • Choose a large pot to allow the spaghetti to cook evenly and prevent sticking.
    • Bring a generous amount of water to a rolling boil (4-5 quarts)
    • Once the water is boiling, add salt to taste.
    • Gently add the spaghetti to the boiling water. Stir occasionally during the first couple of minutes to prevent sticking.
    • Refer to the package instructions for the suggested cooking time and start testing the pasta a minute or two before that time.
    • Once the spaghetti is cooked (must be al dente), promptly drain it.
    • Toss the drained spaghetti with the sauce  and serve with a sprinkle of muddica atturrata

Note

ENJOY!

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