Full Recipe

Basque Style Squid Ink Rice with Peppers & Squid

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For some reason on our trip to Paris I was somehow attracted to order squid dishes on three occasions. Perhaps it was because they were reminders of all the delicious squid we ate in the Basque country two years ago. One of my favourites was on our last day for lunch. It inspired me to come up with this recipe. It’s basically a risotto topped with peppers and squid. I used both frozen whole baby octopus and squid tubes but one or the other would be fine. Also I used 4 small sachets of squid ink because I wanted the rice to be very black and inky but I think probably 2 would be enough.


Ingredients (serves 3)   

For the risotto

1 cup arborio rice

Splash of white wine

2-3 cups hot fish stock

1 finely chopped onion

2-4 sachets of squid ink (available from Farro $2 sachet)

Salt and pepper


1 red pepper, de-seeded and cut into strips

1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and cut into strips

1 medium red onion, peeled, halved and sliced

Handful of cherry tomatoes

2 whole squid tubes, sliced into rings

12 baby octopus

2-3 cloves of garlic finely sliced

Finely chopped parsley


Make the risotto in the usual way adding the squid ink at the same time as the stock. I like the rice to be quite moist so used 3 cups of stock.

While the rice is cooking heat some olive oil in a pan. Add the peppers and red onion, reduce the heat, cover and cook till soft trying not to brown them too much. This will take about 15 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes for the last 2-3 minutes. When this is ready add a dash of balsamic vinegar. If the rice isn’t ready then turn this off and simply re-heat quickly when ready to serve.

About 5 minutes before the rice is ready, heat a heavy pan and add a little oil. It needs to be quite hot. Make sure the octopus and squid is really dry. Add the octopus to the pan first and cook on a high heat for a minute or so. Add the squid rings and sliced garlic and sprinkle with a little parsley. Season. Turn everything over and it all should be ready.

To serve spoon the risotto onto each plate. Top with the pepper mix and then the octopus and squid. Garnish with plenty of parsley.