Risotto con Le Seppie

Squid Risotto


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This is not the black and inky risotto associated with Venice, but the strong and garlicky chilli-and-tomato version of the Lazio coastline. Sweet-tasting squid is a perfect backdrop for the intense flavours that typify the cuisine of the region, and it appears frequently on Lazio menus.


  • 500 g/1 ¼ lb squid, cleaned and sliced into rings, the tentacles cut into sections
  • 50 ml/2 fl oz/¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 salted anchovy, boned, rinsed and patted dry on kitchen paper
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 350 g/13 oz/1 ¾ cups risotto rice
  • ½ dried red chilli, or to taste, crushed
  • sea salt


  1. Dry the squid on kitchen paper. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the garlic and anchovy together, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until the garlic is just soft.

  2. Add the tomato paste and the squid. Stir everything together, then simmer for 5 minutes.

  3. Add enough cold water to cover generously. Do not add salt at this stage because it will turn the squid rubbery. Cover and simmer very slowly for about 2 hours, adding more water if necessary.

  4. When the squid is completely tender, add the chopped parsley and the rice. Stir and continue to cook, stirring continuously, until the rice has absorbed the water.
  5. Add a ladleful of boiling water and cook, stirring, as before. Add more boiling water, a ladleful at a time, only when the liquid in the pan has been absorbed into the rice. Continue until the rice is cooked - it should be tender with a little bite in the middle.
  6. Stir in salt and crushed chilli pepper to taste. Transfer to a platter to serve.