Gourmet pasta at home: Squid Ink Tagliolini with spicy tomato sauce
It has been a while since I last shared a recipe. Not that I’ve stopped cooking, just that I’ve been whipping up the same old fare due to my obsession to rid my fridge of all frozen food.
Thanks to Da Paolo Gastronomia – who sent me a pack of dried Squid Ink Tagliolini and freshly made squid ink sauce, I could finally take a break from this ad-hoc cooking. Ever the challenger, I decided to kick up the dish a notch by making my own sauce instead of using the one they sent.
Pairing squid ink pasta with seafood seems like a no-brainer. Hence, the decision to make a spicy tomato sauce with squid and prawns was a quick one. Once that was decided, it suddenly dawned on me that I had never cleaned and cut squid in my life! So with an if-all-else-fails-I-still-learn-something-new-attitude, I set out to buy the ingredients.
Most of the ingredients used here can be found in most homes. The only ones I had to buy were fresh squid, prawn and Italian parsley. If you don’t have seafood broth, you can simply use prawn shells to create the broth. Just boil the shells in 3 cups water, reduce it by half and set aside.
As for the squid, cleaning it was quite an experience. Did you know that you have to remove the beak (I thought only birds have beaks) and the suction cups from its tentacles? I chose to remove the purple film as well so that I am left with the more aesthetically pleasing white flesh. Cut it into 1/2-inch slices and set aside.
Next, finely dice your onion, garlic cloves and parsley and you are ready to make the sauce.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Season with salt and pepper and add the garlic, chili padi and sauté for another minute.
Next add the prawn broth and tomato puree and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally until the sauce is slightly thickened. Add half the parsley into the sauce. Remember to taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Add the squid and prawn to the sauce and cook for 3 minutes over medium-high heat. Be careful not to overcook the seafood. Just before turning off the heat, I added a pat of butter to the sauce for a creamier finish.
While cooking the sauce, you can start boiling the squid ink pasta. Make sure the water is boiling before adding salt and dropping in the pasta. Once al dente, drain and toss in a little olive oil if you wish.
Lastly, toss the sauce and pasta together and add in the remaining parsley.
The dried Squid Ink Tagliolini from Da Paolo Gastronomia changed my mind about dried pasta. I am surprised that the texture and bite of the tagliolini is close to having freshly made pasta. So if you are looking to enjoy a nice warm plate of pasta in your home and don’t mind forking out more for better quality pasta, I’d say go for it.
The Squid Ink Tagliolini is available at Da Paolo Gastronomia for $10.80 (3 bundles) and the Squid Ink sauce is $8.50 for 1 portion. Both items are available at selected Gastronomia outlets.
Serves 3 -4
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 chili padi
- 1 1/2 cup seafood broth (reduced from the prawn shells)
- 1 cup tomato purée
- Squid Ink Tagliolini x 3 bundles
- 4 medium-sized squids
- 12 grey prawns
- 1/2 cup of chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
- Pat of butter
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