The makings of a grown up halloween dish: seasonal squash, homemade squid Ink Pasta and “cured epideris”.
Well this year Halloween was not going to get away with just once post apparently. When I was hunting for black food coloring I came close to using squid ink in a sweet out of desperation to get my black color. My pastry chef friend Karyn saved that day … but now I really wanted to use the squid ink to. Fresh made Squid Ink Pasta to the rescue. Throw in some pumpkin for color and atmosphere, and a little bit of suspicious meat: Squid Ink Pasta with Pumpkin and Cured Epidermis.
Happy Halloween buaaahahahaha!
UPDATE: here I am in costume as a Sugar Skull at work!
Squid Ink Pasta
A few months back I treated myself to a kitchen gadget I had been wanting for a very long time: a pasta machine. I paid 20$ for it and it is a very basic model but it does the job well. As expected, the pasta machine does a much better job at collecting dust then actually making pasta…which is totally silly because making fresh homemade pasta is easy and tastes so much better!
Halloween was a good excuse to break out the contraption and make a scary batch of black pasta. How did I get my pasta back you ask? With a little bit of squid ink.
Squids are members of the cephalopod class in the mollusk family. The squid usually releases it’s dark ink to create a watery smoke screen as an escape mechanism. The ink is contained in a sac near the heart and it’s dark color is caused by its main constituent, melanin.
Squid ink is most commonly used in pasta, soups, risotto and seafood dishes in Mediterranean cooking.
Hot Pasta Sauce to scare the taste buds
The sauce in this dish was prepared from a dry spice mix, a gift that I received from my friend Cara who was vacationing in Venice quite recently. She also gave me a small cookbook about Venetian pastries so keep an eye out for that future post.
The spice mix is called Spaghettata Aglio Olio e Peperoncino, or Spaghetti with Garlic Olive Oil and Chili Peppers, and it is the base of this traditional Italian pasta dish originating from Napoli. This mix also includes sun dried tomatoes. All you have to do is add water and olive oil to a measured amount of the spice mix and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Very good but it is HOT, lots of chilis.
To assemble the dish, simply simmer a few cubes of pumpkin until they are tender. Toss with the prepared aglio olio e peperoncino sauce and cooked pasta. Place on a serving dish and top with strips of Cured Epidermis and egg whites (I cooked the remaining egg white from the pasta recipe). Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese is you like.
Find the recipe for Cured Epidermis on this year’s Halloween post, as well as a recipe for yummy Poison Toffee Apples. Don’t worry no criminal act was involved, it is just a way to have fun with proscuitto.
And check out my ghoulish Halloween posts from the past:
- Alien Hand Autopsy
- Tequila Mocking Eye
- Spooky Black Bean Hummus
- Pumpkin: scrub and roast the whole darn thing
Squid Ink Pasta
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 1/2 tablespoon squid ink
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- pinch of salt
- In a small bowl stir together the ink and water, set aside. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt and make a well in the center. Drop into the center of the well the eggs and ink water. With a fork mix until a crumbly dough forms.
- Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Cover the dough in plastic wrap or put it in a ziplock bag and allow to rest for at least an hour at room temperature.
- Divide dough into 4 pieces and flatten into an oval. Feed the dough through the pasta machine as per instructions. Cut into desired shape or size you want. Let dry over a rack, a broom stick like me, or make little individual portion nests.
- Cook in boiling salted water for about 6 minutes (I had setting 4 egg noodle). Freeze any remaining pasta.
Divide the dough into 4. Set the machine on 1 and dust the dough very lightly with flour, the more flour there is, the tougher the pasta, so if you can get away with no extra flour that is great. Pass it through the machine. Fold over the pasta in thirds and pass through machine again, repeat 4 more times on setting 1 until the graininess disappears and the pasta appears silky smooth. Then turn the thickness setting to 2 and pass it through once. Gradually get to the thickness that you want and cut with desired attachment. • 3 for Thick "kluski" type egg noodles
• 4 for standard egg noodles
• 4 or 5 for lasagna noodles, fettuccine, spaghetti, and ravioli
• 6 or 7 for tortellini, thin fettuccine, and linguine fine
• 7 or 8 for VERY thin "angel-hair" type pasta/capellini or VERY fine linguini