Recipe / Squid ink pasta: black smiles
Eating is a serious thing.
I try to be very focused when I do it. I try to understand flavors, tastes. I like to ask questions to understand the background of the dish or the details of the preparation… but, for a number of reasons, there is a dish that makes me behave like a kid at the table and this is the squid ink pasta.
First of all, I eat it with my face at 5 cm from the plate trying to avoid to make a mess around and in the end it is still a mess. Secondly, my hands, regardless of any precaution, become always so stained that make me look like King Midas, turning into black whatever I touch. Lastly, and most importantly, I always have to interrupt the meal halfway, asking people not to drink or clean their mouths, just to take a smiley picture with full of black teeth and tongues.
As most of my recipes, finding the right ingredient is the most difficult part.
In this case, apart from finding the right sized squid (200/300 gr max), the biggest challenge is to clean it and preserve the ink bag. In most of Italy, they will do it for you at the fish market. But if you do not live in Italy or buy it in a supermarket, you may decide to take care of it on your own.
1. Do it in your kitchen sink. Grab the squid above the eyes and pull the body out of the head. At the end of it, you will find the ink bag. Remove the membrane around and gently separate it from the rest. Make sure to handle it carefully as it easily breaks. Put it on a side. You will need it just before finalizing the dish.
Remove the bone of the squid by pushing it out from the top part - it will come out relatively easily – and cut the squid in small squares.
In a pan, simmer onion and garlic with olive oil. Once golden, add the squid.
Let it go for a couple of minutes, then add half a glass of white wine or prosecco, raise the temperature and keep cooking for 5 minutes.
Add a large spoon of tomato concentrate, lower the temperature and keep cooking
On a separate pot, boil some water and add pasta.
One minute before ‘al dente’ (there is no other way), add pasta to the squid (and add a bit of water if needed)
Break the squid bag and add it to the pasta while mixing. The ink will start coloring the pasta.
Add a bit of pepper, chili and serve!
Do not mess around and… say cheeeeese!
Ingredients (for 2):
200 gr of spaghetti or bucatini
600 gr of squid
2 bags of squid ink
1 red onion
2 cloves of garlic