Squid ink pasta

Squid ink pasta

By
From
A Lot on Her Plate
Serves
2-4
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

I’ve had a thing for squid and cuttlefish ink ever since I first ate black risotto in Italy many years ago. I love the unrelenting blackness of it, and the umami it adds to dishes. Mixing it into pasta dough makes for the most beautiful jet-black pasta with a hint of the sea, just great for seafood or pork-based pasta dishes.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g ‘00’ pasta flour, plus extra for dusting
pinch sea salt
2 eggs
5g squid ink
semolina flour, for dusting

Special equipment

Quantity Ingredient
pasta machine

Method

  1. Fill a small bowl with water and dust a work surface with flour. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre with your fingers. Scatter the salt onto the flour and crack the eggs into the well, adding the squid ink too. Using the blade of a table knife, break up the egg yolks and, working outwards in a circular motion, start to draw in and incorporate the flour, using the side of the knife blade to mix it all together until you have clumps. Use your fingers to bring it together into a ball, squidging it against any smaller crumbs to incorporate them.
  2. Once you have a ball of dough, turn it, and any remaining flour, onto the floured work surface. Wet your fingers slightly and start to knead the dough, pressing and stretching it with the ball of your hand. Work the dough for 5–10 minutes, until it’s smooth, soft, uniformly black and springs back into form when squashed. Cut the dough in half to make 2 balls and wrap each in cling film. Keep chilled for1 hour.
  3. Once rested, remove the pasta dough from the cling film and place one of the pasta balls on a floured surface. Press it down with the palm of your hand and roll it out with a floured rolling pin, so that it’s thin enough to fit through the thickest setting on the pasta machine and the same width as the pasta machine. Pass the dough through the rollers of the machine on its thickest setting a couple of times then continue to run it through the pasta machine, gradually reducing the settings to 2 below the thinnest setting. Run it through this setting a couple more times, until it’s a thin sheet, about the width of spaghetti. You don’t want to run it through the machine more than 8 times. Lay the sheet of pasta out on the work surface and roll out the other ball of pasta.
  4. Once all the dough is rolled, and both sheets are on the work surface (each one should be 30–40 cm long), cut each piece in half, so that it’s 15–20 cm long. Now, using a spaghetti attachment for your pasta machine, run it through once to make spaghetti. Repeat with the other sheets. Lay your spaghetti on a flat baking sheet, sprinkle with semolina flour and chill for at least 3 hours to dry it out before cooking.
  5. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. If you’re using home-made squid ink spaghetti this will only take 2 minutes. Drain.

Note:

  • If you don’t have a spaghetti attachment, fold your sheets in half and use a sharp knife to cut them into fettuccine-width strips.
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