Go Cook With Cuttlefish Ink, Our Favorite Form of Black Magic

Its briny flavor and dramatic color can elevate everything from risotto to soup

Cuttlefish Ink Risotto
Cuttlefish Ink Risotto
Cuttlefish Ink RisottoWilliam Hereford

It may be spring, the season of vibrant pink rhubarb, pastel green peas, and emerald ramps, but I've been gravitating toward the moody hue of cuttlefish ink.

For our story on nine reasons to love Florence, we tested Pitti Gola e Cantina's risotto al nero, a hearty cuttlefish ink-stained arborio rice. Though a relative of the squid, the cuttlefish has notably different ink. Where squid ink is more purple and less viscous, a cuttlefish's is jet-black and jellylike with a reflective sheen. Delicately briny, it lends pasta and risotto sauces a subtle, oceanic salinity and intense coloration. Beyond pasta, consider working a few drops into pizza dough, soup broth, or white bean dip.

You can find jarred ink online, in gourmet markets, and at some seafood counters. We sourced ours from the Fulton Fish Market in New York City. If you can find cuttlefish at your fishmonger, harvest the ink from the sack by gently puncturing it over a bowl and squeezing out the contents.