Mercato Must-Have: Black Squid Ink Pasta

It’s a new year, and we’re making a resolution to bring out your inner foodie! This month, we’re all about exploring unique food finds in a series we call: Mercato Must-Haves. So get your forks ready and resolve to try something different in 2017. Try this week’s Must-Have…Black Squid Ink Pasta!

Who doesn’t love a big ol’ bowl of pasta? With so many variations and sauces, it’s hard to pick a favorite dish. However, ask your pasta aficionados if they’ve ever tried black squid ink pasta and you may be greeted by perplexed looks. Fresh-cut black squid ink pasta is a rare find, even at local shops that specialize in just pasta!

This particular variety of pasta is created by using actual ink from a squid or in some cases, cuttlefish. The result? A slightly salty and somewhat sweet flavored pasta, that has a distinct texture. The ink taste is savory and subtle, but most of all it provides a bold color to your pasta dish.

Lucky for you, we’ve partnered with a great merchant that carries this specialty product in all different variations! If you’re in the Manhattan area, get your fresh-cut black squid ink pasta from Raffetto’s Fresh Pasta.

Intrigued? We thought so! If you’re looking to impress guests at your next dinner party, or just want to treat your newfound foodie-self, try one of these great black squid ink pasta recipes tonight!

Bon Appetit!

Squid Ink Linguine with Calamari Fra Diavolo

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Squid Ink Linguine with Calamari Fra Diavolo

Ingredients:

1 lb fresh-cut black squid ink linguine
1 lb cleaned calamari, tubes cut into 1-inch rings, tentacles roughly chopped
28 oz can plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, crushed by hand
½ tspn peperonciniflakes
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tspn dried oregano
Salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook linguine to al dente while you prepare sauce.
  2. In a sauté pan, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add in sliced garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until garlic is golden brown in color.
  3. Season with peperoncino; let toast for one minute.
  4. Add in tomatoes, plus a cup of pasta water to the sauce and stir. Season with oregano and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Stir in calamari to the sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the calamari is cooked through.
  6. Drain pasta and toss directly into the sauce.
  7. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss well to combine, and serve.

Squid Ink Tagliatelle with Shrimp & White Truffle Oil

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Squid Ink Tagliatelle with Shrimp & White Truffle Oil

Ingredients:

1 lb fresh-cut squid ink tagliatelle
1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail-off
1 6 oz jar of clams with juice
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
½ c white wine
¼ half and half
2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
White truffle oil
Parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook linguine to al dente while you prepare sauce.
  2. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the crushed red pepper. Follow with the garlic and cook for a minute, until garlic is golden brown in color.
  3. Add the clams and juice and turn the heat up to high. Follow with white wine and cook for 2-3 minutes until the wine has reduced.
  4. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and add half and half to the pan. Simmer for 1-2 minutes longer.
  5. Add shrimp, cover the pan and cook for a minute or two just until the shrimp turn pink. Season with salt, to taste.
  6. Add pasta to the pan and toss until well combined.
  7. Arrange pasta on a plate and drizzle with truffle oil. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Squid Ink Pappardelle with Butternut Squash, Sage & Brown Butter

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Squid Ink Pappardelle with Butternut Squash, Sage & Brown Butter

Ingredients:

1 lb fresh-cut squid ink pappardelle
3 c butternut squash, cubed and peeled (1-inch cubes)
1 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp butter
¼ c fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced (reserve a few small whole leaves for garnish)
Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 475° degrees.
  2. Combine butternut squash cubes, brown sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper until well combined. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pappardelle to al dente while you prepare sauce.
  4. Heat butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add sage leaves and cook until browned bits begin to form in the butter (remove any whole sage leaves for garnish).
  5. Remove pan from heat.
  6. Add pasta to the pan and toss until well combined.
  7. Arrange pasta on a plate. Serve squash mixture over pasta and garnish with the reserved sage.