Hello all. I live in between two worlds (USA and Italy) but I'm really grounded. I believe it's a luxury to be able to pick and choose the best of both. I've been given that gift. I love my job; I believe in positive thinking, and dream of a better future for all. Until then, Mangia!
Growing up Italian: Black is the new … Pasta
Why do I love squid ink so much?
Squid ink Fettuccine, my production, tonight
Maybe because it instantaneously brings me back to childhood memories of family dinners at the coast in Italy. Maybe because its unique smell, recalls the one of the Venetian lagoon, so dear to me. Or maybe, just because it has a distinctive and subtle ability to enhance almost any seafood dish? Whatever is the reason, today I couldn’t wait to come home from work and relax making some homemade pasta for dinner; and I made a sexy looking one, too!
With the sun shining bright, some Italian music playing, a good glass of wine….ohh…right! The wine!!
the wine I am using tonight. Photo by Sarah Tunnell
It really is great when one is able to drink and cook with the same wine, isn’t it? Tonight I opened a bottle of 2013 Territorial Pinot Gris. It screamed for some fresh seafood, so I obliged.
Without further ado, I got my pasta board out and started the routine.
First I gathered the ingredients. I have a special tab in my pantry that reads “unusual”. So, that is where my squid ink resides. While reaching for it, I pulled out some black garlic and black sesame seeds….because, you know, I like my dinners to be color coordinated.
The dinner in black: garlic, squid ink and sesame seeds.
Then I make the dough for pasta, while the dough rests, I can tackle the sauce. Finally it all comes together at once.
FETTUCCINE WITH SQUID INK IN A WHITE WINE AND CHERRY TOMATO SAUCE, TOPPED WITH SCALLOPS AND BLACK SESAME SEEDS
It’s a mouthful but you will thank me later.
200gr AP flour
2 lg eggs
1 pkg of squid ink (available on line…or in Venice 🙂 )
Place the flour on a wooden board (wood is best). Make a well in the center.
Carve a little crater in the pile of flour and place the ingredients inside.
Add the two whole eggs to the well, and the squid ink.
Now, it is about to get messy…
quite a sticky situation
Beat the eggs and the ink while ~at the same time~ adding the flour to the mix, little by little pulling it “in” from the sides.
When the egg mix starts to get sticky, then you can use your hands to work the ingredients together. You might not need to use all the flour. Trust your judgement.
The dough needs to come together, just a little sticky, but not too much. And..YES…your hands will be a mess, keep going. It’s like play dough!
Unlike markers, this black comes off really easily.
Now, the workout part: start kneading the dough for 10 minutes. The stretching of the dough is what will make the difference later.
You are done with your kneading when pressing a finger into the dough, it will bounce right back. Cover the dough with a bowl, and let rest 30 minutes.
To roll out the dough, cut it in about 5 little pieces and roll it out in the pasta machine.
I like my pasta on the thick side, so I stopped at setting #6 on an Atlas brand one.
Let the strips of rolled out dough rest for a few minutes to dry before you attempt to cut them into fettuccine.
When the dough is a little dryer roll the strips through the widest pasta setting of the pasta machine.
A pasta dryer is a good investment.
Place a large pot of water on the stove. While you wait for it to boil, start on the sauce.
Ingredients: ( For the quantity of noodles as in the above recipe)
2 Tbs Butter ~unsalted
2 Tbs EVOO
2 cloves of garlic (or black garlic) sliced
1 Cup cherry tomatoes, halved
400 gr large scallops
Zest of a citrus
1 C wine ( Territorial 2013 Pinot Gris)
Salt to taste
To garnish: Black sesame seeds or finely chopped parsley
Place the Olive oil and butter in a sauce pan, add the garlic. When the garlic starts to fry lightly, add the cherry tomatoes and cook on medium high. Taste for salt.
Let the tomatoes soften up, then add the wine.
Let the wine cook down and evaporate, while softening the tomatoes even further.
The sauce is done when almost all the wine is evaporated. Add the citrus zest (and thyme if using) Set aside.
When the water (see above) is boiling dump the pasta( but keep the pasta water) at once and cook briefly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile melt some butter (or olive oil, or bacon fat) and when hot, sear the scallops. No longer than 2 minutes per each side. Taste for salt.
Drain the pasta into the sauce and toss to coat over medium heat.
Arrange the pasta on a plate, top with the scallops. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds or parsley. Serve immediately.
Until next time:
Mangia! and Ciao!
For more of Rosa’s recipes, go to EDN archives or my blog: