To make the Brodo di Pesce (fish stock), rinse the fish bones under cold running water. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and leek. Cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the carrot and celery. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes or until the onion and leek are soft. Add the fish bones and heads, bay leaf, parsley and peppercorns and cook for 2-3 minutes, then pour over the white wine. Cook for 2 minutes then add the water and salt to taste. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.
Note: The longer that the fish stock cooks for, the more flavour it will develop.
Remove the Brodo di Pesce (fish stock) from the heat and strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, using the back of the ladle to extract as much flavour as possible.
Note: If not used within 2 hour, refrigerate the stock.
To make the rice filling, heat half of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the fennel and cook for a further 8 minutes. Add the chopped squid tentacles, rice and chilli and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt, then add the wine and the tomato paste, stirring frequently until the wine has reduced. Use half of the hot fish stock for the rice filling. Start by adding a ladleful of the hot stock, stirring constantly. When the stock has been absorbed, stir in another ladleful. Continue to add ladleful of stock, stirring and allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next until the rice is ‘al dente’ (approximately 12 minutes). Stir in the parsley and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
To clean the squid, remove the insides by grasping the tube body and pulling the tentacles from the body. Cut off the tentacles of the squid in one piece and set aside. Discard the insides and head of the squid. Push the tentacles outwards, removing the beak at the base of the tentacles and discard. Remove the backbone (a thin, clear sliver of cartilage) from the tube of the squid by holding onto the backbone and pulling it from the squid tube. Lastly remove the skin by running your fingers underneath the skin, then peeling it off. Remove the skin from the wings, body tube and tentacles and discard skin. Rinse the cavity well and pat dry.
Tip: To save time, ask your local fishmonger to clean the squid for you.
Stuff the squid tubes with the rice filling, using a teaspoon to push it down into the bottom of the tubes. Use a toothpick to enclose the filling and set the squid aside.
Tip: Do not overfill the squid tubes as this will make it harder to close.
Meanwhile heat the remaining olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then transfer the rice filled squid tubes to the stockpot. Season with salt, then add the wine and the tomato paste. Stir frequently until the wine has reduced. Add the remaining hot stock, then reduce the heat to low-medium. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes or until the squid are soft and tender.
Note: The cooking time has been based on squid that are approximately 800g in size. If your squid is smaller or larger, you will need to adjust the cooking time.
Add the finishing touch by stirring in parsley and serve immediately – buon appetito.