The British cuttlefish season is just about coming to an end and I would imagine less than 5 per cent of our haul is actually consumed in the UK, if that. For a nation that eats a fair bit of squid, we are still rather nervous about cuttlefish; maybe it's the thought of that dried vertebrae in budgie cages that puts people off. Oh, and get your fishmonger to clean the cuttlefish for you, as it can be a messy job.
4 servings of garganelli pasta, or similar
1 small onion, peeled, halved, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
4tbsp olive oil
100ml white wine
250ml fish stock
150g unsalted butter
400-500g cuttlefish (cleaned weight), cut into thin strips
150g cooked peas
A handful of pea shoots, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Gently cook the onion and garlic in the butter for 2-3 minutes until soft, then add the white wine and simmer until it's almost evaporated, then add the fish stock and reduce by half. Season the cuttlefish, melt a little of the butter in a frying pan until foaming and quickly fry the pieces of cuttlefish for about a minute, stirring every so often (you may need to cook it in a couple of batches). Chop over the peas a little and add to the sauce with the cuttlefish and stir in the rest of the butter.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water, then drain, reserving a little of the cooking water to adjust the sauce. Mix the pasta with the peas, cuttlefish, sauce and pea shoots, season and add a little of the cooking water if necessary. Serve immediately.