Catalan-style Cuttlefish

Recipes | Braising Serves 6 Catalan-style Cuttlefish

This is a traditional dish from Catalonia in north-eastern Spain. Like so many traditional recipes, it varies from town to town and family to family – sometimes it’s made with potatoes, sometimes without. The area of Maresme, just north of Barcelona, is famous for its peas, so they would certainly be included in versions made there. It’s quite soupy, so serve it with lots of crusty bread to soak up all the flavour.


1.5kg Cuttlefish, cleaned 
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch saffron threads, soaked in 1 tablespoon warm water
500g waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm dice
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
½ cup dry white wine
250g podded peas
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Crusty bread, for serving


Cut Cuttlefish tube into large squares and halve tentacles.

Heat oil in a frying pan. Add Cuttlefish and cook for a minute or 2 until just opaque. Remove from pan and set aside. 

Add onion and garlic to the pan with a good pinch of salt, cover and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until lightly coloured.  Add saffron and water, return Cuttlefish to the pan, add potato, carrot, salt, pepper and wine and bring to the boil. 

Add enough water to just cover the contents, return to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add peas and cook for a further 10-15 minutes or so, until cuttlefish is tender.

Stir in parsley and serve with crusty bread.

Alternative species:

Calamari, Octopus, Squid.

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