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Stuffed cuttlefish, Basilicata style   Authentic Italian recipe

Stuffed cuttlefish-the photo shows the molluscs raw  in the baking pan  sprinkled with parsley and olive oil
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Stuffed cuttlefish, Basilicata-style

Ingredients / Serves 2

  • 2 500 g (1.1 lb) fresh cuttlefish
  • 1 60 g (2 oz) stale bread roll
  • 1 egg
  • Little bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 20 g (3/4 oz) ewe's cheese, grated
  • 2 anchovy fillets in oil, chopped
  • 50 ml (2 fl oz - 1/4C) extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 ml (2 fl oz - 1/4C) fish stock
  • Salt
  • Pepper, if you like
  • Time:
    preparation: 20 minutes
    cooking: 40-45 minutes
  • Difficulty:
    medium difficulty
  • How many calories in a serving?
    Calories: 507 (kcal) 26 % GDA (*)- 2121 (kJ)
    Protein: 28.1 (g) 38 % GDA
    Total fat: 33.8 (g) 49 % GDA
    Total carbohydrate: 24.2 (g) 9 % GDA
    Sugars: 2.4 (g) 3 % GDA

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Stuffed cuttlefish are prepared in different ways in Italy. We present you the traditional recipe of Basilicata in this page but we want to remember it's a typical Apulia recipe too.

Clean the molluscs. Remove their bone, entrails and the small bag with cuttlefish black. You can preserve cuttlefish black (also in the freezer) for preparing risotto or pasta. Remove the skin, eyes and mouth and wash under cold running water to clean it very well. Put apart their tentacles; you have not to use them for this recipe. You can use them for a pasta sauce for example. Pat dry the molluscs with kitchen paper.
Prepare the filling. Crumble the bread roll (you can also use the food processor). Combine it with garlic, parsley (put apart some), anchovy fillets, the egg lightly beaten and ewe's cheese in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper (if you like) and stir very well. The filling must be soft.
Stuff the cuttlefish with this mixture and close them with toothpicks.
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Pour half the oil in a deep baking pan, place the cuttlefish, sprinkle them with the remaining olive oil and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper if you like.
Bake for about 40 minutes sprinkling often the molluscs with boiling fish stock.
Really the time of cooking depends on the size of the cuttlefish.

Note

  • - People in Basilicata also use soft part of bread (mollica); so you can also prepare the stuffing with it.
  • - If you prefer you can use anchovies in salt instead of anchovies in oil. Wash them accurately before using.
  • - If you don't like garlic you can substitute it with a fresh little onion, finely chopped.
  • - You have to control the cooking time. If you bake the cuttlefish too long they can become tough.
  • - In the photo you can see the cuttlefish raw before baking them.
  • - We suggest to buy cuttlefish with skin; the skinned cuttlefish have less flavour.
  • - Cuttlefish must be very fresh, of course!

    For a lighter recipe

  • - Generally we add no ewe's cheese in the stuffing. In this way we lower the total fat. Besides we don't like the flavour of this cheese with fish. This is the habit in the south of Italy: using ewe's cheese in the fish recipes. We prefer to taste the flavour of the cuttlefish alone without ingredients that can cover it. For the same reason we use no garlic. Obviously our recipe is different from the recipe we have just described!
  • - Use less olive oil. We add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the baking pan and then some tablespoons of fish stock if we have it or white wine.
    These are the new nutrition facts if you want to follow our change
    Energy kCal 333 kJ 1392
    Protein 25.5 (g)
    Total fat 15.6 (g)
    Total carbohydrate 24.2 (g)
    Sugars 2.4 (g)
    Fibres 1.7 (g)
    This recipe tastes fantastic even in this way and it's a good idea for people who have to follow a diet poor in fat and calories, isn't it?

What's the right wine for " Stuffed cuttlefish, Basilicata style "?

Our suggestion is: Grottino di Roccanova (white wine IGT from Basilicata-Italy) or a good white wine.