Saturday, March 11, 2006

Squid Ink Pasta

Would you eat tagliatelle black as midnight? No? With white calamari rings, lemon, garlic and parsley? How about in a white wine sauce? We did tonight and it was very tasty. Only problem is the pasta wasn't exactly black. It was charcoal grey. I can do black but grey is a very unappetizing color for food, so most of tonight's dinner went to Gabriel who doesn't seem to be bothered by these things. I should have put only 2 eggs into the pasta dough instead of 3, then the squid ink to everything else ratio would have been higher and thus the result, blacker.
Here's what I'd do next time:

Homemade Squid Ink Pasta

2 eggs
1 package of concentrated squid ink
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup semolina flour
1 cup all purpose flour plus extra for dusting

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a cup very well making sure that all of the squid ink is incorporated. In a medium bowl combine the flours and make a well in the center. Pour in the egg mixture and slowly incorporate the flour by mixing with a fork. Once you have incorporated all the egg mixture into the flour, knead it for a couple minutes to reach a smooth, uniform texture. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes then cut it into 4 equal pieces and proceed to roll them through a pasta machine. You will create 4 very long and rather wide lasagne sheets. Hang them to dry slightly (I put mine over the backs of my kitchen chairs)for a couple minutes. Then roll your sheets through the wider, tagliatelle setting and arrange in "nests" on a plate. Put a large stock pot of water on to boil then start the sauce. A big pot of water takes a long time to boil, so I like to start that first when I do a quick sauce.

Squid-lemon-parsley sauce:

1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 lb calamari rings or 3/4 lb of whole squid sliced into rings
salt, fresh lemon and cayenne pepper to taste

Mince the garlic. Heat the oil over medium in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the white wine and boil for another minute. Turn off the heat under the oil, garlic and white wine if the big pot of water isn't boiling yet. Timing is very important here. You want al dente pasta and tender calamari at the same time so don't get yourself stuck overcooking the calamari while you're waiting for the pasta water to boil. Once the water is boiling, add the calamari and most of the parsley and sautee for maximum 3 minutes. Just after you have added the calamari to the frying pan, add the pasta to the pot. After 2.5-3 minutes drain the pasta and add it to the pan and the sauce. Flip the pan a couple times or stir thoroughly to coat all the pasta. Serve immediately.


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