Cuttlefish Wrapped in Pancetta with Ink Sauce

This unsung cephalopod is wrapped in salty ham and served with a stunning black sauce
By Sam and Eddie Hart
Cuttlefish Wrapped in Pancetta with Ink Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-4
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • olive oil, for frying
  • 12 baby cuttlefish
  • 12 - 24 very thin slices of pancetta, depending on length (if long can halve)

For the sauce

  • olive oil, for frying
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400 ml fish stock
  • 1 ½ tbsp squid ink

For the salad

  • 25 ml white wine vinegar
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 2 - 4 handfuls mixed leaves


1. For the sauce: in a frying pan heat a little oil. Sweat the onions for 5 minutes, add the chopped garlic and sweat for a further 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the fish stock, herbs, ink and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and reduce until thick and unctuous. This should take approximately 30 minutes.

3. Allow to cool slightly, process in a blender and strain through a sieve. Set aside.

4. Clean the cuttlefish and lightly score the flesh. Cut each cuttlefish in half.

5. Put a slice of pancetta on a board and arrange half a cuttlefish on top. Roll the pancetta and cuttlefish up into a sausage shape - you don't want too much pancetta, so if it's too long, slice in half. Repeat with the rest.

6. Heat a frying pan with a little oil and fry the cuttlefish parcels until cooked - about 3-4 minutes each side.

7. For the vinaigrette: mix the white wine vinegar, olive oil and mustard in a bowl. Season and toss through the salad leaves until well coated but not overdressed.

8. Serve the cuttlefish with a little of the sauce on a platter, accompanied by the dressed salad.

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