Something Different: Squid Ink Pasta

Homemade squid ink pastaFresh pasta just feels like luxury to me. I LOVE it. I love homemade gnocchi, colorful pasta (like this ravioli) and flavored pasta (like spinach and beet). If you've never had fresh pasta before I highly recommend making some at home or finding a restaurant in your neck of the woods that makes their own.Squid ink pastaThis pasta falls under the category of something just a little bit different or maybe full-on weird to some of you. ;) I first had squid ink pasta while on a trip to New York with my mom and Elsie. It just sounded exotic. I ordered feeling like I was either going to love it or totally regret not getting something safe like risotto. And I loved it! Seriously. And ever since then I've been dreaming of making my own. How to make squid ink pastaSquid ink can be used for cookingI didn't know if I'd be able to find squid ink at any of my local grocery stores, so I bought some online. The ink I used is actually cuttlefish ink. Cuttlefish aren't actually squids, but they are in the same family as squids. And I had read that their ink is actually a dark brown, but it looked pretty black to me. :) How to make fresh pasta Squid Ink Pasta, makes three to four servings. 

2 cups all purpose flour (or "00" flour if you can find it)
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk (room temperature eggs work best, but cold is ok too)
1/2 tablespoon squid (or cuttlefish) ink
2 tablespoons warm water
a pinch of salt

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt. Use the back of your measuring cup to create a well in the center. In a small bowl stir together the ink and water until well combined. The ink may be quite thick and you want it to evenly disperse within the entire dough. Into the center of your flour well pour the eggs, egg yolk and ink water. Use a fork to mix until a crumbly dough forms. Use your clean hands to knead the dough until it becomes somewhat smooth and elastic feeling (about 8 minutes). 

Some people like to do this process on a clean counter (instead of in a bowl). I find that the bowl helps to contain the mess and gives me a way to keep the liquid from running in the beginning. But you do as you like. :)How to make fresh pastaCover the dough ball in plastic wrap and allow to rest for an hour on the counter. You can make pasta dough the evening before you want to use it and store it, wrapped, in the refrigerator. Just be sure to give it plenty of time (at least one hour) to sit out on the counter to return to room temperature before shapping.Homemade squid ink pasta  Now use a pasta roller or other pasta making machine to flatten the dough and cut into your desired shape. I use Kitchen Aid attachments to make pasta at home. I described my process in this post. Only for this recipe I decided to make angel hair pasta rather than fettuccine. How to make squid ink pasta Fresh pasta will cook slightly faster than dry pasta. I cooked this in boiling, salted water for about six and half minutes. 

For the sauce I simply combined three tablespoons olive oil with two tablespoons fresh lemon juice. While the pasta is still quite hot (just after draining) I tossed it with a few cubed tablespoons of butter, then the lemon olive oil and then I sprinkled on salt and pepper. Top with shredded parmesan cheese. You could easily use any kind of sauce you prefer, like tomato or pesto.Squid ink pasta As you can see I made two batches of fresh pasta, one plain and one with squid ink. I think they look pretty together. :) In case you are curious about the taste of inky pasta the truth is that it's a lot more added color than flavor. The ink taste is savory and subtle. Try it. Happy kitchen experiments! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman

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