Cuttlefish with guanciale and fennel seed on soft polenta


Seafood and salumi are a great match. If guanciale isn't available, substitute pancetta.

You'll need

1 kg cuttlefish (about 10-12) 80 gm unsalted butter, coarsely chopped 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil 50 gm guanciale, finely chopped (see note) 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 2 tsp fennel seeds, coarsely crushed 1 small red chilli, thinly sliced 2 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley   Soft polenta 800 ml milk 300 gm yellow polenta 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream 160 gm (2 cups) finely grated parmesan 60 gm unsalted butter, coarsely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • For soft polenta, bring milk and 800ml water to the boil in a large saucepan, season to taste, add polenta in a thin stream, whisking continuously. Reduce heat to low, stir continuously with a wooden spoon until polenta is smooth (30-40 minutes), then stir in cream, parmesan and butter, keep warm.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, remove beaks and eyes from cuttlefish with a sharp knife (discard), reserve tentacles. Rinse inside of bodies, cut into 5cm-triangular pieces. Heat butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add guanciale, garlic, fennel seed, and chilli, sauté until starting to brown (3-4 minutes). Add cuttlefish, reserved tentacles and parsley and sauté until just cooked (2-4 minutes). Season to taste, serve immediately with polenta.

Note Guanciale is cured pig's jowl or cheek, available at Italian butchers and delicatessens.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Fragrant traminer.

Featured in

May 2009

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