I had never heard of this dish before spending some time in northern Italy, exploring the glorious Ligurian coastal region. Boy, can these people coo...
Both Tuscany and Liguria have deep claims to this recipe, as both regions are highly specialized Seppie in Zimino experts. This lovely classic dish pairing sea and land is an unique flavor package, and packs in the vitamins and nutrients as well. All in all, the full package dish.
In Zimino typically refers to recipes where main ingredients (usually seafood options like cuttlefish and squid) are slowly cooked, and stewed in a light tomato broth with green seasonal veggies like chard or spinach. Better yet, tender baby spinach leaves.
The long cooking times will allow the spinach or chard to lose its primarily earthy flavor, and absorb the flavorsome aromas from the seafood and tomato. The name derives from the Arabic "samīn" which means fat, buttery, dense. In actual fat this is not a fat dish, rather it is creamy and very tasty. We'd strongly recommend tossing in a whole peperoncino if you like a little extra kick - the layers of flavors here are extreme, yet incredibly mellow and delicate. An almost paradoxical recipe, it's totally unique and mirrors the full-bodied culinary approaches of Tuscany and Liguria. Bring your family on a quick culinary spin of select Italian regions via their taste buds - see the world together from your dinner table!
Clean cuttlefish thoroughly or have fishmonger clean cuttlefish if possible. Slice into pieces about 1cm thick.
Wash celery rib and parsely, dry well and set aside. Finely mince celery, medium peeled onion, and parsley. In heavy-bottomed soup pot, add coating of extra-virgin olive oil, and add diced celery, onion and parsley. Bring to slow simmer, allowing to brown gently over medium-low heat.
Add cleaned and sliced cuttlefish to pot with vegetables. Taste and adjust accordingly with salt. Lower heat to low, and continue cooking for another few minutes.
While cuttlefish and vegetables are slowly cooking, wash and dry chard. Coarsely chop chard and add to pot with cuttlefish and vegetables. Promptly add tomato pulp to pan with cuttlefish and vegetables.
Cover sauce pot and bring heat down a bit lower. Cook over low heat for 35-40 minutes, or until cuttlefish are cooked through and are softened.
Ladle into individual serving bowls and serve hot.
60 minutes 8 ingredients 445 kCal
75 minutes 8 ingredients 155 kCal
Ryan Thursday 5th of November 2020
Love the Cuttlefish!
I had never heard of this dish before spending some time in northern Italy, exploring the glorious Ligurian coastal region. Boy, can these people cook. I know we say that about all Italians, generally speaking, but this dish was a true revelation. I am familiar already with squid and calamari as fried versions but when slow-stewed with tomato and chard, an entire new range of flavours pops through, and shows me the versatility and creativity of Italian regional cooking. Love this dish, and can't wait to make it many times over for friends who haven't had it yet.