Black is black – Homemade squid ink tagliatelle with spicy calamari sauce
Il nero è nero – Tagliatelle con nero di seppia e salsa piccante di calamaretti
Here is my favorite pasta, that I had been thinking to make for months. I had two tiny squid ink bags in my refrigerator and was obsessing about them. Today, I finally decided to go ahead with my project. I can no longer use my pasta machine, since the kitchen counters have no extra border to hold it so I just have to use my mattarello (rolling pin) that is huge. Anytime I look at it, it looks like a huge monster rolling pin, my hands are a little small to manipulate it, but it works, I’ll just develop Rambo’s forearms soon. Anyway, let’s go back to the way traditional pasta was still made with a rolling pin, my grandma never used a machine, and my mom’s once in a while, when she was in a hurry.
Squid Ink is used frequently in the Veneto region’s cooking (Venice). They use it to make squid ink risotto and other local specialties. Of course it can be used in pasta as well, and gives a the dough a very subtle flavor without overpowering the dish, which goes to perfection with seafood sauces.
When you roll the pasta with a rolling pin, you need a large wooden board (spianatoia in Italian) to flatten out your sheet. I have a large board but will have one made at Ikea with larger dimensions for larger sheets. You also need a pasta rolling pin, it’s a little different from the regular ones, it is not tapered and that has the same size all the way, from one extremity to the other, so that your sheet will have the same thinness all around.
I like pasta rolled by hand much better than when done with the machine, the texture is more grainy therefore absorbs the sauce much better and I like the irregularity of the tagliatelle when cut by hand.
Ingredients for 4
For the dough
- 2 eggs
- 1 yolk
- 1 small bag squid ink
- 1 1/3 cup white flour or semolina flour
For the calamaretti sauce
- 1 lb calamari, cleaned and cut in 2 crosswise (except the tentacles)
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seedless and diced
- 2 shallots, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbs basil, chopped
- 1 tbs parsley, chopped
- chili flakes
- 2 tbs olive oil
For the pasta
On your spianatoia, or wooden board, place flour and make a fountain, break eggs. Dissolve squid ink in a small glass with 2 tbs water. Add squid ink to the flour/egg mixture and mix gradually all ingredients with a fork. Then when all ingredients have been incorporated, use your hands to knead the dough. If the dough is too hard, add a little water. Knead the dough for about 15-20 minutes, to get a smooth round ball. The dough should not be sticky and after kneading it for 20 min should be very smooth. You can let the ball rest in a plastic wrap for about 30 minutes, but I didn’t, if the dough is hard enough, it’s not necessary.
Then start rolling the dough, trying to spread it out evenly making a regular round sheet. The sheet should not be thicker than 1 mm. Add flour if the dough sticks to the table, but it should not stick. If it does, it means you added way too much water to the flour.
Let the sheet rest for about 10 minutes. Fold one side up th its half, then proceed the same with the opposite side.
Using a well sharped knife, cut regular strips and set the tagliatelle aside.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes, or until they come out at the surface. Pour calamari sauce on top, sprinkle with additional basil and parsley and serve.
For the calamaretti sauce
In a pan, heat olive oil. Brown shallots and add garlic, then add parsley and basil, stir to get the flavors out. Add tomatoes and chili flakes, let the tomatoes cook for about 10 minutes until some water has evaporated. Adjust with salt and pepper.
Add calamari and let them cook for about 10 minutes, do not overcook or they’ll get rubbery. Let sauce redue and water evaporate.
This entry was posted by silvia on November 18, 2009 at 11:15 pm, and is filed under Fish/Seafood, Pasta. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0.You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.
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I love this! I made it once but not sure why I failed… bad ink? Will try again once my kitchen is ready and I can bring my pasta machine out to play.
I made black spaghetti for my children at hallowe’en – we called it ‘witches hair’!
OMG, can we actually eat that? Is it eatable? This is the very first time I heard of using squid ink for ingredient. Btw, can check & click here? see if you can go to my blog from here. I’ve an award for you… please feel free to drop by and collect the batch. Thank you, Silvia. Cheers.
wow how pretty this is, very interesting way to use calamari I am use to it stuffed or deep fried….
I once made this and all of the squid ink squirt right into my shirt. I haven’t made this ever since. But I love this dish.
That is SO cool. It’s so surreal to eat food of that color – beautiful photos, by the way!!
Omg, that’s beautiful! My BF loves squid ink pasta … but I doubt i’ll ever be this ambitious … I shouldn’t tell him that other people that write blogs make it and roll it by hand, he’ll start telling me how “neglected” he feels … haha!
One of the very best pasta dishes I’ve eaten was squid ink pasta with smoked salmon. This looks like it’s equally good!
i’ve never thought about making this pasta all by myself. you are real brave taking risk of splashing the ink all over to everywhere.
but i bet it’s totally worth it. wonderful dish!
Must be careful about not using too much squid ink because of the fishy taste… For Black Pasta I tried once using balsamic vinegar with lemon juice and honey and reduced well… turned out great and real black
so cool! i have always wanted to taste squid ink pasta. yours looks fabulous!
I would love to try making the black noodles… but squid is on my “cringe” list
I had seen squid ink used for pasta, but I’ve only seen it used as a sauce, which makes the pasta black during the cooking process. I’ve never actually seen pre-dyed pasta. Awesome!
You say not to cook the squid too long ir it gets tough but then say to cook the sauce until the water in the tomatoes begins to reduce. How does one do both?