Squid Ink Pasta with Seafood – My Dark Secret.

Seafood Squid Ink Pasta (10 of 10)OK, it’s dark. But, that doesn’t make it a dark secret, per se. In fact, it’s just dark. There really is no secret about it. I could have gone down a “My Dark Past” route with this. But, Michael Jackson cornered that particular market a while ago. I could have suggested that the squid was caught in the Dark Net but, the Dark Net is not a place in which any of us want to get caught. So, I went with Dark Secret. 

I could also have not written any introductory rubbish and just given you the very simple recipe for Squid Ink Pasta with Prawns, Crab and Asparagus. But, where’s the fun in that? I wouldn’t be able to show off my dark humour if I did.

Ingredients (for 2)

  • 180 grammes of 00 flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 small sachets of squid ink (ask your fishmonger)
  • 12 prawns (raw)
  • 8 crab toes (cooked)
  • 1 single bulb garlic or 3 cloves or regular garlic
  • A handful of asparagus spears
  • A good splash of brandy
So few ingredients, such a beautiful dish!

So few ingredients, such a beautiful dish!

Side note on squid ink. If you ask about squid ink and your fishmonger stares back at you like a cod looking out of a display cabinet, get a new fishmonger.

Break the eggs into the bowl of your stand mixer. Squeeze in the ink.

A little bit of darkness goes a long way.

A little bit of darkness goes a long way.

Beat the eggs until the ink is reasonably well incorporated.

The ink does mix in, eventually - making black the new white, literally.

The ink does mix in, eventually – making black the new white, literally.

Gradually add the flour and mix until the stand mixer starts to rock around the place. Change the beater hook for the dough hook and give the pasta a good 10 minutes kneading in the bowl. This saves you having to do it on a work surface.

Now I know what it means to be 'Black Balled'. The pasta is a fantastic colour.

Now I know what it means to be ‘Black Balled’. The pasta is a fantastic colour.

Wrap the pasta in cling film and leave it in the fridge for half an hour. Remove it from the fridge and let it come back to room temperature. Cut it into three pieces and pass it through the pasta machine. Mine is a hand crank one and it does the job pretty well.

I do think I made this pasta a little on the wet side and I have adjusted the flour quantity in the recipe to compensate for that. However, if you use smaller eggs than I did, you will be in trouble. Likewise with bigger eggs. You are just going to have to use your judgment. (That is dark humour, BTW).

The wife is handy to have around when the pasta starts to roll.

The wife is handy to have around when the pasta starts to roll.

The flour around the place in these shots is semolina. It will fall away from the pasta in the cooking. It’s great for keeping the pasta threads separate.

Lovely fresh pasta. There is a real seafood vibe going on with this.

Lovely fresh pasta. There is a real seafood vibe going on with this. (It looks like seaweed)

Next, chop the garlic. Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the prawns. Once they have been added, add the garlic and stir until they are about half-cooked.

Lots of garlic is a very good thing. Remember lads, she will stink of it too!

Lots of garlic is a very good thing. Remember lads, she will stink of it too!

Then add the crab toes. Warm these while the prawns are finishing. Then add the glug of brandy. Flame off the alcohol. This is great fun.

Stay well back. You don't want flambéed face.

Stay well back. You don’t want flambéed face.

Steam the asparagus for 5 minutes. Pop the pasta into a big pot of boiling salted water. It will cook in 2 minutes. Rinse the pasta with more boiling water. Sprinkle with a little parsley, Give it a twist of black pepper and serve in warm bowls with a glass of nice white wine.

This is as tasty as it looks. It's a real show stopper.

This is as tasty as it looks. It’s a real show stopper.

For once, I can say this is a dark secret worth sharing. The fresh black pasta is beautiful. Nothing you can rehydrate comes anywhere close. Do go to the little bit of trouble to make your own. It really has the capacity to brighten the darkest day.

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Latest comments
  • One day, they will find a way to make gluten and lactose innocuous to my insides. And on that magic day, I will be tucking into a massive bowl of fresh pasta with heaps of cream and cheese, and quite likely quite outrageous amounts of seafood. But I might possibly pass on the ink…

    • Kate,
      It’s the ink that makes it fun to do! Apologies for tempting you over to the dark side…

      • Ah Conor, you’re the Prince of Darkness….

  • That looks absolutely delicious 🙂

    • Thanks MD. What’s not to like in crab, prawn, asparagus and pasta?

  • That looks so awesome! It’s so hard these days to find squid that hasn’t been pre-“cleaned” of that lovely ink!

    • Too true. I really do like to get my hands on fresh squid with the sac intact. It is becoming rarer and rarer.

  • Fantastic looking dish, Conor, such great colors! Agree on what you said about the fishmongers. Unfortunately Kees doesn’t appreciate squid ink. One of these days I’ll have to get ink sacks from a couple of fresh squid and try it with that, perhaps the freshness will help.
    What is the reason for rinsing the cooked pasta with boiling water? (And why I ask this, I compliment you for using boiled water rather than cold for this, which Italians would only use when making a pasta salad.)

    • Hi Stefan,
      Two reasons, if truth were told. Firstly, when I ‘make’ regular dried pasta, it’s part of the process and I have carried it over to fresh, without really thinking about it. Secondly, I could use the excuse of being sure that the semolina is rinsed off. Perhaps I need to think a bit more about what I am doing?
      Best,
      C

  • Is there anything more theraputic than making your own pasta??

    • Probably not Rory. Right up until it starts to stick in the machine!

      • You wanna see my Sisters Mother in Law go at it with a long stick….machine?!? Pah, she 87 and would laugh us outta the room!

  • Wow! Squid ink…that is really interesting. Is there anyway to describe the taste?

    • Hi YaYa,
      Yes, slightly of the sea. Apart from that, no. Though the colour gives a lovely extra dimension to the “eat with your eyes”.
      Best,
      C

      • Hi, wow, I love to eat octopus and squid, but never thought of the ink. Learned something new today 😀 Thank you!

  • Love your picture and the colors!

    • Thank you. It was a pleasure to cook this one. The end result gave loads of great contrasts and depth of colour.

  • What’s a recipe without the proper introduction? 🙂 A beautiful dish.

    • Thanks Virginia,
      I was stretching a point, if not the pasta on this one.
      Best,
      Conor

  • Fantastic photography and a delicious dish. I’ll have to get my hands on some ink. We made fresh cannelloni this weekend, stuffed with chive mascarpone and a while blanched baby leek!

    • Thanks Nick. The ink packets were €1 each. That should qualify as frugal. Fresh cannelloni sounds divine.

  • This is something I always wanted to try, squid ink pasta. And you make it even yourself. Congratulations. The pictures look awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Cecilia,
      It’s pretty easy to make and well worth it for the dramatic looking dish. Thanks for the kind words.
      Best,
      C

  • I love your posts. You always make me chuckle out loud, especially your side note on squid ink! 🙂 I’m so impressed your made homemade squid ink pasta. Sooo impressive Conor.

    • Happy to help with a bit of a chuckle. We all need a bit more of that for sure. The pasta really is pretty easy to do, as long as one is prepared to do the work!

  • Just amazing! Inspiring 🙂

  • Really have to find out whether I can purchase the packets of squid ink somewhere: I still try to buy squid with ink sacs attached! And do love the ‘adding alcohol bit’ also!! Women are allowed to ‘squeal’ whilst doing so you know !! Remember shocking quite a few wedding guests at my second nuptial celebration by having this as hot appetizer: well a few decades back people had seen less and tried less 🙂 !

    • My only fear is of setting fire to the kitchen when I am doing it. It really is a case for moderation in alcohol.

      • Moderation in adding to the dish or to the glass waiting on the kitchen table Milord 😀 ? I belong to the generation of Steak Diane and Crepes Suzette so plenty of practice and heaps of fun!!

        • I cooked the crepes before. The Diane is a flaming adventure yet to be experienced.

  • An amazing dinner, as always Conor! I have a feeling every “fishmonger” here in Central Oregon (if you can call them that, they are butchers but have to handle fish at times) would all be the cods staring back at me. HOWEVER, there are real fishmongers in the town by our RV property on the coast of Oregon.I just might try asking one of them when we start our fishing and crabbing season again this year (which will be very soon!)

    • Excellent. I feel sad for your lack of seafood. But, it kind of has to be that way, being so far from the sea. Time will pass soon and you will be up to your ears I fish and crab.
      Happy Days.

  • Very nicely written, as ever, and those colours look amazing together. I was thinking samphire might be good with it too, in lieu of asparagus, although I can never remember when samphire’s in season. Anyway, ramblings apart, it looks delicious.

    • Samphire would be delicious. They had some in the fishmonger’s last weekend. Ramble away, any time.

  • Lovely contrast in the images Conor. Looks great. I’m a big fan of plenty garlic in this kind of pasta dish, smells superb too.

    • How can you smell it? That would be a cracking addition to the blog. Aromanet.

  • A question, Conor (not to take away from this masterful dish). If crabs have toes, does this mean that the bees really do have knees, and the spiders ankles?

    • Of course they do. Or so my mother told me.

  • Oh my, this looks amazing. I love squid ink pasta and to make it yourself is just delicious, especially with prawns. Beautiful as always.

    • Thanks Amanda. It has a bit of theatre about it and photos well.

  • Wow! This is an amazing post! I love squid ink pasta and have a pasta machine but don’t know how to say squid ink in Cantonese… Lol beautiful dish!

    • You will just have to extract the sacs yourself BAM! The ink direct from the squid has, naturally enough, a bit more sea flavour too.

      • I guess I will have to go old school, huh! Happy cooking!

  • Looks excellent Conor! I could just about smell the garlic!

  • the ready to use squid ink is not available here in Indonesia, so i need to harvest if from the fresh one…
    you know what, it’s all worthed Conor…

    • It is. Delicate dentist hands are required!

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