Cuttlefish Black Sauce
Salsa col Nero delle Seppie
The cuttlefish black sauce is prepared all over Sicily and in
particular in the Oriental part of the Island, where this recipe originated.
This characteristic black sauce is used to dress the linguine or spaghettini and it is made from the
cuttlefish’s sack containing a black liquid or from the squids’ sack that also contains a small quantity of
The cuttlefish is less tender than the squid and cooking it requires that this mollusk is tenderized or cooked
in a pressure cooker.
” A sarsa niura”, the black sauce made in Syracuseis different from any other black sauce I have sampled: the
smell of the sea is predominant in the sauce and it is not spoiled by the addition of too many ingredients.
The pasta made with this sauce. it is different and may not be too attractive, but if you are willing to try
it, you will become an aficionado to this gourmet delicacy.
Sufficient for 1 lb.
1 ½ lb.
4 teaspoons of olive
1 medium onion,
3 tablespoon of tomato paste
1/2 of cup white
¼ cup of parsley,
Clean the cuttlefish separating the head from the sac. Remove
and set aside the small sacs containing the black liquid. Be careful not to squeeze the little sacs so you can
avoid spilling the liquid all over. Eliminate the bone and the skin, cut the white tube in small strips and the
tentacles in small pieces. Cook in a pressure cooker for 25 minutes.
In a large sauté pan, over a medium heat, place the oil with
the onions and cook until onions are light brown. Add tomato paste and sauté for 3 minute, stirring in 1 cup of
water a little at a time. Add the cooked cuttlefish, sauté for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add wine and cook over high heat for about 2 minutes, until alcohol content in wine evaporates. Add 1 cup of water,
the chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then lower flame and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove
from heat and set aside.
Note: There is no substitute for fresh cuttlefish, but if it is
not available can be substituted with squid, calamari, if the “ink” in not enough, it can be brought in good