Arroz negro (Squid with rice cooked in squid ink)


  • Serves 4 people

  • 125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
  • 200 gm canned whole tomatoes
  • To taste: white sugar
  • 450 gm squid tubes, cleaned and sliced into 1cm rings
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 red capsicum, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 300 gm Calasparra rice (see note)
  • 1 tbsp squid ink (see note)
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) white wine
  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) hot fish stock
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • To serve: lemon wedges
  • Alioli
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 100 ml vegetable oil
01   For alioli, combine garlic and vinegar in a bowl, add egg yolks and mustard and whisk to combine. Combine oils and gradually add oil mixture a drop at a time to egg yolk mixture, whisking until a thick emulsion forms. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
02   Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, add tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until thickened. Season to taste with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and white sugar.
03   Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a 40cm-paella pan or large frying pan over high heat, add squid and sauté for 30 seconds or until just starting to colour. Remove and set aside. Add remaining olive oil and cook onion and capsicum for 5 minutes or until starting to colour, reduce heat to medium and cook for another 10 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and cook for another 5 minutes or until garlic is soft. Add rice and stir to coat, add tomato and stir to combine.
04   Combine squid ink, wine and stock in a jug and stir to dissolve ink, then add to rice mixture, reduce heat and simmer, without stirring, shaking pan occasionally to loosen rice from base, for 40 minutes or until rice is tender and stock is almost absorbed. Scatter squid over rice and cook for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover with foil and stand for 5 minutes. Scatter with parsley and serve with lemon wedges and alioli to the side.
Note Calasparra rice is grown in the village of the same name in the Murcia region of Spain. The plump, round grain absorbs three times its quantity in liquid but it is not creamy, so grains remain firm. If squid sacs are still intact and there is enough ink (squid tend to release their ink when caught), strain ink through a fine sieve before using. Alternatively, squid ink is available in a jar or sachet from select fishmongers and speciality food stores.
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