RISOTTO NERO

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Region: Veneto

Serves 2

Shelf life 2 days from delivery (keep refrigerated)

Easy to cook 

Takes 10 minutes

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There is something dangerous and sexy about black food. It is the colour of night, of the dark side, of the forbidden and of sin. Black truffles, dark chocolate, ink risotto – each is a step to somewhere you oughtn’t, but really want, to go.

Why we think of squid ink, I don’t know – the mollusc used in this dish is cuttlefish, and the ink used is cuttlefish ink. Cuttlefish (seppia) is where we get the ink from, and derive the word for ink colour (‘sepia’). The flavour of cuttlefish braised in its ink is rich and deeply marine – like bottarga, and sea urchin, something afficionados of seafood might come to actual blows for.

I first had this dish at Harry’s Bar, which was fitting: this recipe is a defining venetian classic. The addition of gremolata is my own, perhaps a heresy, but I find it makes the colour and flavour really pop.

ENJOY! This is a defining dish of the Veneto. Whilst it is robust and could go with any more structured or complex white, I will always open a more senior Soave to drink with it, given half a chance.