Cuttlefish are larger than squid, very tasty and can be cooked in many different ways. You can buy either fresh or frozen cuttlefish. They are a bit messy to clean, but they are well worth the trouble.
First you pull and detach the tentacles from the body. There are all sorts of not very nice looking intestines, plus the sac with the ink, which is black and iridescent. If you wish, you can detach it carefully, so as not to break it, rinse it and put all the sacs of ink in a small plastic container and freeze them. You can use them in cooking when you make rice with seafood. The ink has a very distinctive flavor, and I believe it enhances a seafood dish.
Hold the tentacles and cut off the intestines just above the eyes. Look in the centre of the tentacles to find the mouth of the cuttlefish, which you can just squeeze out.
Then put your fingers inside the sack and pull out the bone and anything else that you find floating in there. Wash it carefully, and if you wish you can remove the skin that is dark colored, so you have the white flesh of the cuttlefish. Don’t remove the skin on the underside of the cuttlefish that is much thinner, because it will tear. The whole cleaning procedure may seem a bit ‘yacky’ but once you get the hang of it, it is as easy as pie. Or you can ask your friendly fishmonger to do it for you.
Ingredients 4 medium cuttlefish 5 tablespoonfuls rice 2 onions finely chopped 3 spring onions chopped 3 tablespoonfuls dill finely chopped 3 tablespoonfuls parsley finely chopped 2 cups spinach chopped 1 – 2 cloves of garlic minced 3 ripe tomatoes grated or chopped (or a can of chopped tomatoes) 1 cup olive oil ½ cup white wine Salt, pepper
Boil the squid in water for 5 minutes, and drain them.
In the meantime chop the tentacles.
Put half the olive oil in a pan and sauté half the onion and the green onions for a few minutes, until they are translucent. Add the tentacles and the garlic and sauté for a few minutes more. Then add the rice, the spinach, the dill, the parsley, salt and pepper and half a cup of water. Stir, simmer for 10 minutes. Take the pan off the fire and let the stuffing cool.
In a pot put the rest of the oil with the rest of the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the tomatoes, the wine and simmer until the wine evaporates. Add 1 cup of water and simmer for 5 -6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Take each cuttlefish sack and fill it with the rice mixture, leaving some room for the rice to expand. Close the opening with a toothpick. Place the cuttlefish next to each other in a pot. When you have stuffed all the cuttlefish, pour the tomato sauce over them. Let them simmer gently for about one hour, until the cuttlefish are tender and the sauce has thickened. While cooking, check to see that there is enough water, so that the cuttlefish don’t burn. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Serve and accompany with a nice salad of your liking and fresh crusty bread!