Traditional recipe: battered pasta with cuttlefish

Last week fishing reopened here in Rimini, and I was able to prepare a traditional recipe that I had in mind for some time. This thing of suspended fishing in the summer should be reminded to those tourists who arrive at the fish restaurants on the Riviera thinking of always eating only fresh fish from the Adriatic… Gentlemen, the Adriatic Sea it is less and less fishy and from mid-July to the end of August you cannot fish there. And even now that it has been possible to repopulate, the situation has not improved that much. A lot of damage has been done in the past, it is difficult to resolve the situation with a month and a half of suspension a year…

But let's get to my proposal, I said that I had a simple recipe in mind, with few ingredients and that, precisely for this reason, it needed to have the best available: fresh cuttlefish and quality flour. It is an almost forgotten traditional preparation that I have rarely been lucky enough to taste in restaurants, strange because it is very easy to make and with just a few ingredients you get something absolutely delicious.

The beaten pasta, otherwise called “grattini”, is accessible to everyone, you don't need a rolling pin but just prepare a rather firm dough (for 200 g of flour a single large egg), work it vigorously and then cut it into slices. These must then be left to rest for a couple of hours so that they can dry and then using a knife like the one you see in the photo below and which at home has always stood out from all the others because it is feminine, the knife, begin to cut the slices irregularly by chopping the pasta… a bit like you would do with parsley. I used the last taste of Verna wheat flour to make this pasta, I couldn't help but try it in fresh pasta and it didn't disappoint me, certainly being a type 2 flour it was very tenacious during processing but I assure you that its aroma and flavor were very different from a simple 00 flour .

A small note on the history of this recipe that I took from a book that I love and which is a source of inspiration every time I decide to cook fish (see pici with clams). Is titled “Farm… Doni!” and. Panozzo, accompanying the recipe, a testimony tells that the pasta beaten with cuttlefish was prepared in spring when the dolphins passed along the sandbar and ate the heads of the cuttlefish. The “dauphin” cuttlefish were cooked in this way and there is a saying from Romagna that goes like this: la jè na soepa delfinedathat is, “she is a decapitated cuttlefish” and was said of an unattractive girl.

The Romagna people are always flattering! 😉

Pasta beaten with cuttlefish

200 g of type 0 flour (I used Verna wheat flour)
1 large egg
1/2 kg of cuttlefish
1 small onion
1 tablespoon triple tomato paste
extra virgin olive oil
pepe q.b.

Prepare the dough by mixing the flour with the egg*, form a long loaf and cut it into slices. Leave the slices to dry on the cutting board for a couple of hours. When it has dried out a little, make a “beaten” with the pasta and leave it aside.

Clean the cuttlefish and wash them well under running water, cut them into strips and then chop them coarsely. In a saucepan, fry the finely chopped onion in plenty of oil. Add the cuttlefish to the sauté, brown them and then add the triple concentrate dissolved in half a liter of plenty of water. It should cook for an hour and a half. If necessary, add a little hot water during cooking.

Add salt if necessary and throw in the beaten pasta which will have to cook for 5 minutes. Serve with plenty of freshly ground pepper and a pinch of chopped parsley. (doses for 4 people)

*You may have trouble massing the dough with just one egg, even a large one. I used an “extra large” but if you don't have any available you can use this trick that I learned from my grandmother: wet your hands a little and continue to pile until it comes together. Consider that it will have to be a rather hard dough in any case.


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