Squids in black with polenta

Fishing and the different fishing techniques in the Venice area belong to an ancient tradition, which, in some cases, were passed from generation to generation without any change, apart from the motorization and the introduction of the nylon fibre for the fishing nets.

Squids in particular have always been a key resource for Venetian anglers and today they still are an important branch of the fishing activity in the area.

Squids in black ink sauce with polenta are a typical Venetian dish, to the extent that they are also known as Venetian style squids (seppie alla veneziana).

It is an elegant dish with clashing flavours, apart from having clashing colours, which mixes a typical element of the fishing tradition (squid) with a rural element (polenta).

We must say it is an excellent main course belonging to the Veneto regional tradition and it is as good as easy to prepare.

At the beginning, the squid ink may make you feel sceptical, it is understood, but if you overcome the initial feeling, you will get to appreciate the nice chromatic contrast between the polenta base and the squids. Moreover, the taste will be unforgettable and you will not be disappointed.

Our chef’s tip: you should add the black ink when the squids are almost done because it tends to thicken when heated up.


Ingredients for 6 people: 900 gr of middle sized squids

  • 1 chopped celery
  • 1 chopped onion (medium sized)
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 4 tomatoes, cut in small pieces
  • 2 spoons of chopped aromatic herbs [basil, parsley, chives and any other you like]
  • 3.75 dl of dry white wine
  • 1 glass of fish fumet
  • 1 dl of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly milled white pepper


Clean the squids. Separate the head from the body and cut the tentacles you will find behind the eyes. Choose two or three ink sacs and throw the others away (or store for another recipe). Remove the transparent bone, rinse the squids under running water and remove the skin. Cut them into slices (2-3 centimetre thin) and cut the tentacles in four pieces.

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