Squid Ink Risotto with Mastiha Liqueur

  • 2/3 cup Mastiha liqueur

  • 1/3 cup dry white wine

  • 4-5 cups vegetable stock

  • 6-8 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

  • 2 Tbsp. squid ink, drained (sold in packets online and in some gourmet shops)

  • 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice

  • 2 medium fresh squid or cuttlefish, cleaned and cut into thin rings or diced

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Heat the stock in a pot and keep it aside, simmering.

  2. In a large, deep skillet heat half the oil and sauté the onion, fennel bulb, and garlic. Add the rice and stir for 1 -2 minutes. Pour in the squid ink and stir.

  3. Lower the heat. Pour in half the Mastiha liqueur and as soon as it steams off, add the wine. When that is absorbed, add ½ cup hot broth. Continue to stir until all the liquid is absorbed. Repeat the procedure until the rice is tender but al dente.

  4. While the risotto is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a separate, nonstick skillet and sauté the squid or cuttlefish over high heat for 2 minutes. Pull away from the heat source and pour in the remaining Mastiha liqueur, carefully, because it may flame up. As soon as the alcohol burns off, empty the squid or cuttlefish into the risotto and stir. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste and pour in the remaining olive oil. If desired, sprinkle with some chopped fennel. Combine well and serve.