Seppie in Nero

One of the best meals I have ever had in Venice comes from the hands of our dear Zia Maria Rosa. One of those truly great Home Cooks, who seems to magically create a masterpiece in the corner of her picturesque Venetian home. And when I say picturesque, that's an understatement as this is the view from their home.
Rio Vista Olives Venice Canal
That view alone inspires greatness. So as we are all stuck inside in this new normal call social distancing, come for a journey to Venice, meet our family and learn one of the greatest recipes you could imagine. Seppie in Nero, or Cuttlefish in Ink.
First Stop, we visit the Fish Markets in Venice. Always a sight to behold, with the freshest of seafood available for the picking. 
Rio  Vista Olives Venetian Fish Market
Zia Maria Rosa picks the freshest of the Cuttlefish to use in this dish.
Rio Vista Olives Cuttlefish Venice Fish Market
Now the masterpiece can begin:
Rio Vista Olives Fresh Cuttlefish
The Cuttlefish are cleaned and the ink sacks left in tact for the dish.
Rio Vista Olives cleaned cuttlefish and ink sacks
Then, using our very own Rio Vista Olives Signore Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the cooking commences. First the Onion, Garlic and Parsley are fried up in the EVOO. Then the chopped up Cuttlefish is put in to brown.
Rio Vista Olives EVOO with garlic onion and parsley
Then White Wine is added to the pan. Once it has reduced, the ink sacks are added to the mix. Then black pepper and tomato paste.
Rio Vista Olives Sepia Nero
It is then slowly cooked down for approximately 40 minutes or until the cuttlefish are tender.
Rio Vista Olives EVOO Sepia Nero
It is then served with Polenta or Crusty Bread. Buon Appetito.
Rio Vista Olives Sepia Nero Recipe


by Maria Rosa Azzara


1 kg. of cuttlefish
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 glass of white wine 
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt and black pepper to taste


Wash the cuttlefish, remove the eyes, the beak. With a small knife, open them and remove the cartilage, then open them completely and remove the entrails and discard, taking care not to break the silvery blister containing the black ink that you will set aside.

Rinse them well and cut them into small pieces.

In a pan, pour a generous round of olive oil, add onion, garlic and parsley, leave to soften for a moment and then add the cuttlefish pieces. Let them brown for a few minutes and pour in the white wine. As soon as it reduced slightly, add the ink sacks by cutting them over the pan, using scissors. Mix well add the salt and pepper . Also add the tomato paste and mix.

Bring to a boil and continue cooking, lowering the heat to cook slowly with the covered pot, and stirring occasionally.

If they dry too much, add a little water, there must be a nice sauce surrounding it. If, on the other hand, there is too much liquid, cook for a few minutes in an uncovered pan. Make sure it is right about salt.

Cooking can last from 40 minutes to an hour depending on the consistency of the cuttlefish.

It is served with polenta or with slices of crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

Rio Vista Olives Italian Table eating Sepia Nero

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