Octopus and Squid Ink Farro-Sotto

octopus and squid in farro-sotto

First of all, happy new year guys! I’m loving it so far. Got my mom and aunt visiting and it’s raining outside. I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking, at least not the kind of cooking I usually do for the blog. Cameras, flashes, all this sous vide stuff… I think I would freak my mother out. So that will have to wait and in the meantime I’ll stick to the things they’re more comfortable with. But today’s recipe ain’t one of those. This is something I cooked a few weeks ago before they showed up and I wanted to share with you. It was my first time cooking farro and I will definitely be introducing more farro into my future food adventures. It’s has an awesome sweet taste, the texture is rather unique and a nice change from using rice all the time. 


2-3 pounds of octopus. Fresh if possible. 

250g farro

500g water or 500g fish stock. (I prefer the latter, just make sure it’s low sodium or make your own)

extra water as needed… farro is pretty thirsty

50g dried porcini mushrooms. Blended to dust (use spice blender)

1 tsp of minced garlic

1 shallot. minced. 

Salt, pepper and parmesan cheese to taste. Go big on the cheese factor. 

2 Tbsp Pedro Ximenez vinegar. 

2 tsp squid ink. (go by feel…I like a really dark and inky finish) 

This whole recipe? Inspired by #arrival the movie btw. (hah!)


The octopi. 

Cook the octopus sous vide for 3h @ 185F with salt.  Flashed pickle in pedro ximenez vinegar. The texture of the octopus after cooking was ok, maybe a little too tender for my taste but that’s fixed by the quick pickling. They octopus firms up and it’s incredible. The acidity of the vinegar goes really well with it too. Cut up the octopus and add it to the vinegar. Bring to a boil. Cook for a minute. Chuck the octopus in ice water. Remove from the ice water after 10 seconds. Save the cooking vinegar for other uses if you like because it’s awesome. 

The farro-sotto. 

I didn’t rinse it. I just went for it. Farro al nero di seppia with porcini and parmesan. Sweat the shallots in a bit of olive oil. Add the farro to the pot. Farro actually takes a bit longer to cook than your regular arborio rice for example, so be patient if you wanna try this. I also used fish stock and lots of water to break it down. Add the garlic and start adding the stock ladle by ladle over medium low heat. The porcini I bought dried and pulverized it in my spice blender. I used about a 50g of it. Adding them straight into the cooking pot at this point. Stirring for about 45 mins or longer as you add more stock/water. Once the farro is al dente, season with salt, lots of parmesan cheese and pepper. You can add the cheese at the end (there’s really no benefit in boiling cheese). Serve over a bed of that squid ink farro. And that’s it. 


octopus and squid in farro-sotto

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      1. Very well though very different. I hydrated the farro with home made chicken stock then added sauted onion, garlic, celery, chicken livers and bits of very smoky ham, seasoned with thyme, nam pla, black pepper and a little asian red pepper paste. Served as soup topped with cilantro on a snowy evening. Thank you for bringing farro to our table.

  1. I’m probably like your mom I like to stay on my comfort zone it’s pretty awesome to have a ability to cook so many varieties of food like you.
    Congratulations on be published!!! That’s pretty awesome too -by the way

    1. Thank you Sheila! And maybe you should venture out and try something new! I love experimenting in the kitchen and testing ingredients. It’s pretty fun 🙂

    1. thanks Stefan, and happy new year! Let me know if you ever try it out. I found the cooking of the octopus went a little far… the octopus didn’t have much of a bite but the pickling did bring back some of that. Maybe young octopus needs less cooking time. Haven’t really cooked enough octopus to know.

  2. Stunning! A simply beautiful meal. You should try out other grains if you’re excited about farro. Like kamut, and hulled barley. They’re both so meaty. I only use unprocessed grains because you might as well be eating cardboard. No nutrition to speak of, and no texture. Now if i could only get my hands on some octopus…

    1. Thank you so much Mimi! I will definitely try other grains. Barley has been on my list for quite some time and I’ve never even heard of kamut! But that’s one of the many things I love about cooking. I never get bored hahah. I’ve never seen octopus at wholefoods here before but I was gone for 2 years so maybe things changed.. specially when I looked surprised they had it and they looked at me weird… yeah, maybe I’ve been away too long hahah. Happy new year!

  3. This dish looks stunning! Love how you did the octopus. I have been dabbling with sous vide octopus for a while now trying to find the right texture. The photo of your finished dish is simply amazing.

      1. I cooked mine at 170 for 10 hours. The outcome was super tender, it was almost to tender. I am used to Octopi that has a little more of a chew to it. I am looking forward to trying your method!

  4. Maybe I’m a little late to the Party, but this looks absolutely amazing and I’m trying this for our Christmas-Dinner today. Wish me luck.

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