Polpette di seppia
Some of the most delicious recipes I have ever made come from mistakes, disasters, serendipity. This, my friends, is one of those recipes! It came about when my local fishmonger forgot that when I buy cuttlefish I usually make stuffed cuttlefish (he usually remembers) and chopped my cuttlefish up. Of course I didn’t notice until I got hame in the evening and took the fish out of the fridge to cook!
For the large sides, there was no problem: these are fantastic lightly grilled with a squeeze of lemon juice. I knew however that for two hungry horaces who had both been training today (him football, me running with May) just some grilled cuttlefish and salad wasn’t going to cut it. So I came up with this on a whim and lo and behold, it worked! Crunchy, filling, savoury and just the right amount of fishy, they added the necessary substance to the meal – yum!
You will need:
2 whole cuttlefish, cleaned and with the tentacles placed to one side
a piece of stale bread (I used one about the size of my fist)
a handful of capers (rinsed if in salt)
2 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tsp plain flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Put the larger sides of cuttlefish to one side. Chop up the smaller parts into cubes. Set the oven to heat to 180°C
2. Place the cubes in a bowl and mix with egg, pepper, capers, breadcrumbs.
3. Soak the stale bread under running water then break up into the mixture.
4. Form the mixture into patties then roll in the flour. Place in a baking tray then drizzle the olive oil over the top before placing in the oven to bake for around 15 minutes, or until piping hot on the inside and golden and crunchy on the outside.
5. While those are cooking, wash lettuce and arrange on the plates with some wedges of lemon.
6. In the last 5 minutes before serving take the cuttlefish sides and sear them briefly in a nonstick pan with a sprinkle of salt. No oil should be necessary.
7. Serve, with cold, dry white wine. We had a lovely Pinot Grigio which surprised me as it isn’t usually a grape I really enjoy, but this was lovely – fresh, dry and with a slight aroma of unripe peaches. Yeah, my boyfriend would say I am talking rubbish too, but trust me, and if you don’t then try it – it’s called Cacciatore, and I’m not sure it’s available outside of italy… anyway, thankfully another successful experiment!