Braised Cuttlefish with Chickpeas and Basil

With saffron, harissa and chilli, Mitch Tonks creates a tomato-based casserole with an air of the exotic
By Mitch Tonks
Braised Cuttlefish with Chickpeas and Basil
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • pinches saffron
  • 1 small dried bird's eye chilli
  • 1 tsp harissa powder or ground cumin
  • 1x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • splashes white wine
  • 1 kg cuttlefish, cleaned and cut into strips
  • 1x 700g jar Italian passata
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • handfuls basil, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • crusty bread, to serve


1. In a casserole dish, heat a little olive oil and gently fry the onion, garlic and celery.

2. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for a further minute. Add the saffron, dried chilli, harrisa or cumin and chickpeas, followed by the white wine.

3. Once the alcohol has evaporated, add the cuttlefish including tenticles. Fry for a further minute before adding the passata, parsley and half a cup of water.

4. Simmer gently for 45 minutes until the cuttlefish is really tender.

5. Mix together the vinegar and sugar, stir into the pan and cook for another 3 - 4 minutes.

6. Add the basil, season and finish with lemon juice. Serve with crusty bread.

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