Arroz negro (black squid ink paella)

Sam and Eddy Hart visually impressive rice and seafood dish tastes as good as it looks
By Sam and Eddie Hart
Arroz negro (black squid ink paella)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-4
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 220 g cleaned squid
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 350 ml Fino or Manzanilla sherry
  • 1 litre fish stock
  • 350 g bomba or calasparra rice
  • 8 sachets of squid ink
  • large knob of butter
  • extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
  • lemon wedges

For the squid garnish (optional)

  • 2 small squid, cleaned
  • 2 tsp light olive oil
  • small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped


1. Dice the prepared squid. Heat half the olive oil in a large, heavy based frying pan and fry the spring onions for a minute. Add the squid and continue to fry until lightly coloured and all the liquid has evaporated. Add 150ml of the sherry and it let bubble until it has reduced totally. Remove everything from the pan and set aside.

2. Bring the stock to the boil in another pan and keep it at a low simmer.

3. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the rice and fry for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the rest of the sherry and stir to deglaze. Add a couple of ladlefuls of stock and cook, stirring every so often, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add stock in this way until the rice is nearly cooked.

4. For the squid garnish: in the meantime, prepare the squid garnish if using. Slice the small squid into rings, keeping the tentacles whole. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the squid and pan-fry for a few minutes. Sprinkle in the chopped parsley and set aside.

5. Return the reserved squid and spring onion mixture to the rice and add the squid ink with a little more stock if necessary, and stir well. At this stage the rice should be perfectly cooked and take on the dark black colour of the ink. Stir in a large knob of butter and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

6. Serve the paella in warm bowls, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and topped with the pan-fried squid (if using). Serve with lemon wedges.

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