Recipes and Ramblings in Italy

Food Blog

Recipe of the Week (January 11, 2016)

Posted by William Abruzzo on January 11, 2016 at 2:20 PM

Risotto con Calamari (Sauteed Rice with Squid)


       This recipe takes us to the region of Veneto. Whenever I travel to Venice, I search out a seafood restaurant where I can order seafood risotto. My favorite is risotto with tender baby squid or cuttlefish. If I am lucky, the chef will prepare it "al nero" or with the ink stirred into the risotto, to make it extra special. Here in the US, whole squid is very difficult to find. It usually comes pre-cleaned, with the ink sac removed. Here is a tasty recipe which calls for pre-cleaned squid. It is a true taste of Venice. Enjoy!



Arborio Rice (2 cups)

Pre-Cleaned Squid Tubes and Tentacles (2 lbs)

White Wine (1 ½ cups)

Light Fish or Seafood Broth (7 cups)

Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese (1/3 cup)

Olive Oil (for sautéing)

Spanish or Vidalia Onion (½ small)

Garlic (3 cloves)

Italian Flat Leaf Parsley (3 tbs -chopped, packed firm)

Butter (4 tbs)

Black Pepper (to taste)

Salt (to taste)


       First, prepare the squid. Pat the squid dry with a dish towel, slice the tubes into small rings, and place the tubes and tentacles in a mixing bowl. Drizzle the squid with olive oil, season with paprika, black pepper and salt, and toss so that everything is coated. Brush a baking tray lightly with olive oil and spread the squid evenly on top. Roast the squid in a preheated 425 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until firm and opaque.


      Next, prepare the risotto. Set the broth to simmer in a saucepan. Dice the onion and garlic. Coat the bottom of a deep frying pan with olive oil, set it on a medium low burner, and sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Then, add the rice and continue sautéing for 2 to 3 minutes or until the rice is opaque, stirring constantly. Then, season the rice with salt and black pepper. Next, add the wine ½ cup at a time. Stir constantly and add the next ½ cup after the wine is absorbed by the rice. Continue by adding ladles of hot broth in the same manner, stirring constantly and adding the next ladle after the rice has absorbed the broth.


       After 20 to 25 minutes, the rice will be tender. Next, stir in the butter, grated cheese, and parsley. Then, stir in the roasted squid. Adjust the consistency to your liking by adding more broth if the risotto is too thick or sautéing a minute longer if it is too thin. Depending upon the tenderness and consistency desired, you may or may not use all of the broth. Transfer the risotto to individual serving bowls and serve hot. Serves 4 adults.

Categories: Pesce

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Reply LB from Staten Island
12:49 PM on March 4, 2016 
Thank you fro posting this great recipe. I am enjoying the captions you provide about the regional foods.
Reply Wanna be chef
5:35 PM on February 26, 2016 
I tried this too. It was a nice recipe. I added mussels to the mix.
Reply mariabella
1:12 AM on January 28, 2016 
The picture looked so good, I just had to try this recipe. My husband loved it. Thanks Bill.
Reply Lesa
11:48 AM on January 18, 2016