Cuttlefish and Meatball Ragout with Artichokes and Peas

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4 servings Medium
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Ingredients (18)

  • 1 cuttlefish, cut into 1 inch cubes and salsa reserved
  • 3/4 lbs ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 3 sprigs of parsley
  • 2 pieces of stale bread, 1 fried and 1 soaked in 3 tblsp of milk
  • 2 garlic
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4-6 threads of saffron
  • 1/2 cup of dry wine
  • 6 hazelnuts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 chili pepper, optional
  • Several sprigs of fennel leaves, chopped (optional)
  • Flour
  • Water
  • 4-6 artichokes, quartered
  • 1 cup of peas

This is a classic mar i muntanya dish of cuttlefish, meatballs and two springtime vegetables—peas and artichokes. I got this recipe from my Catalan mother inlaw and have been trying to perfect it since.

The sauce builds off of tomatoes and onions bases. Then in the final minutes is thickened with crushed nuts and bread.

One important note: remember to save the salsa or brownish pouch inside the cuttlefish (it in next to the pouch of ink). This is added to the sauce for maximum flavor.

Instructions

  1. 1Make meatballs:
  2. 2Mix ground pork, egg, garlic, parsley and fennel leaves. Tear up bread which has been soaking in milk and mix in. Add salt and pepper. Form into medium meatballs and lightly coat with flour. Brown meatballs and set aside.
  3. 3Make cuttlefish and sauce:
  4. 4In main saute pan, brown cuttlefish in oil (but not salsa). Set aside. In the same oil, saute onions. Add tomato. Cook at medium heat until thickened, 5-7 minutes. Add meatballs, salsa, artichokes, chili pepper and wine. Simmer gently at medium heat for about 20 minutes, adding water when needed. Add peas and continue cooking until peas are soft but not mushy about 7 minutes.
  5. 5While the sauce is cooking, make picada (thickening agent):
  6. 6In mortar and pesto, crush nuts and fried bread. Add 2-3 tbls of water to make a paste. 2 minutes after peas have been put in, add picada. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
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