Cuttlefish ‘al mattone’ with garlic, lemon & parsley recipe

Cuttlefish ‘al mattone’ with garlic, lemon & parsley

'Al Mattone' literally means 'under a brick'. In Italy they use this method of flattening when cooking chicken, and I've done the same here with cuttlefish. You can grill the cuttlefish over fire or sear it in a red hot frying pan, placing the 'brick' on top. In the restaurants we use a commercial burger iron, but you can use anything with a bit of weight. Just wrap it in foil first.

Serves 2


2 garlic cloves

100ml good olive oil plus extra for brushing

a handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley

juice of ½ lemon

a pinch of dried thyme

a small handful of fine dry breadcrumbs – panko for a crisp result

2 cleaned cuttlefish



Make the dressing first: grate the garlic into the olive oil, then add the parsley, lemon juice and a good pinch of salt. Set aside.

Heat your barbecue grill until the coals are white.

Mix the thyme with the breadcrumbs. Brush the cuttlefish with olive oil and season, then give it a light sprinkling of breadcrumbs on both sides. Lay it on the grill and place the weight on top. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn over, put the weight back on top and cook for a further 4 minutes.

If you are using a heavy frying pan, rub it with oil and get it hot, then cook the cuttlefish, with the weight on top, as above. You will have a nice golden colour to the cuttlefish. Serve dressed with plenty of the dressing.