Thursday, May 19, 2016

Home-Made Squid Ink Pasta (about 3 servings)

I enjoy jigging for squid especially when they are actively running right towards my fishing line! :D 
I find it thrilling when I pull up my line and there are several squid making hissing sounds and squirting me with their ink! However, due to a busy schedule (and partly due to laziness) it is easier to purchase them from a trusted seafood distributor. I recently bought 10 pounds fresh off-the-boat squid from my local fishmongers (New England Fishmongers). These squid were part of (roughly) 3,000 pounds that were pulled out of the clean cold water off the coast of Cape Cod (from just one trip out to sea this month). Amanda and her boyfriend Spencer teamed up with the Anderson family on F/V Rimrack to provide fortunate people like me with their fresh catch. Recently she delivered to my home 2 large bags of these sweet and succulent ocean creatures. Thank you Amanda, you ARE the best 'squid runner' (a term I borrow from someone who called her this)!! If you want the same thing you may contact (text, call or email) Amanda at 603-707-7517 or amanda@newenglandfishmongers.com. The next time she will go out squidding will be in June 2016. Because these were just caught they have not been cleaned yet. So when you get them I would recommend you eat a moderate size meal, change to some old clothes and get your hands dirty. There is no other way around this process! If this is the first time you have to clean squid you will soon understand why you need to eat first before cleaning them! :D

This is a photo of Amanda and Spencer looking very happy
with their catch of squid and being surrounded by many hungry seagulls!!
(photo courtesy of F/V Rimrack, 2016)
When I have fresh squid I like to save the ink to make gnocchi, pasta or risotto. I think I am the only one in my family who actually eats the ink. According to my mother her late father (my Ah Con) told her that the ink is poisonous and never to eat it. According to him the squid uses the ink to defend itself so therefore it must be toxic. This was the same man who refused to eat eel, catfish or any other fish without scales. He thought these type of fish were bottom feeders.

Here is my Home-Made Squid Ink Pasta. I find that it is best to eat the pasta as soon as I make it. Honestly I have not found a good way to dry them and still retain their taste and texture later. I dry the pasta strands (see photo below) but they tend to be brittle and are not as tasty as just made--from cutting the pasta to the desired strips and dropping them to the pot of boiling water. If you do not eat all of the pasta then keep the dough wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator until ready to use over the next 1-2 days. 

I use the same liquid that I steam the stuffed squid with to boil my pasta. Fresh pasta cooks quickly--about 3-4 minutes. I check for doneness by eating a strand. This flavored liquid makes the pasta tastes even more rich. This recipe makes about 1 pound and 6.5 ounces (good for about 3 servings). A few friends asked me if the ink provides any extra flavors. Honestly I think the ink is more for the black color. If you ever eat squid ink pasta and there is a fishy smell then you may want to stop eating. That may be a sign of bad seafood! Check out my Squid Ink Gnocchi post. To me they look like charcoal brickettes. Although some people may think they resemble something else! :D

You can also use the dough to make ravioli (see below). I save stuffing from one squid to use inside the ravioli for experiment...and it turns out very tasty. The black color dumplings are very striking when served along the bright color vegetables; diced tomatoes and ribbon of yellow summer squash quickly sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with a little salt. Right before eating I drizzled a little of the Maggi brand przyprawa w plynie sauce on the ravioli. Yum!!

I separate the strands and dust them with flour
so they do not stick together.
home-made squid ink pasta
squid ink ravioli
Home-Made Squid Ink Pasta (about 3 servings)

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and rolling the dough
1 cup fine semolina (flour)
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
25 fresh ink sacs from 5-7 inch squid (see How to Clean Squid)
About 6 Tbsp lukewarm water
A few drizzle of olive oil

Method:

1) Mix flour and salt together. Pour the flour mixture onto a clean work surface. Make a well in the center and add all the egg yolks and white in the center of the well.
2) Stir the eggs with a fork and then slowly incorporate the eggs into the flour. Then with your hand (s) mix until the eggs are well blended into the flour. Add the egg sacs. May add water a tablespoon at a time to keep the dough soft and pliable. Add a few drizzle of oil towards the end of kneading. Knead with your palm (s) until everything is well blended (about 8-10 minutes). Wrap the dough loosely or put it in a plastic bag and let it rest about 30 minutes to 1 hour before using. The dough may be kept overnight in the refrigerator; before using let the dough return to room temperature.
3) Cut the dough into manageable pieces (about 6 to 8). Keep one dough out to work and the rest in a bag, plastic wrap or container to prevent them from drying out.
4) Take one piece of dough, sprinkle with some flour as needed, roll it into a log shape, and flatten it slightly with a rolling pin or your palm. Then feed the dough (using the widest setting on the pasta machine) through a few times. Sprinkle more flour if needed. After this, run it through a thinner setting 2-3 times. Sprinkle more flour if needed.
5) Run the final sheet of pasta to the desired final cut or fold the pasta sheet and cut with a knife. Separate each strip individually by hand, dust with a little flour.
6) Once all the cutting is complete cook the pasta in gently boiling water for about 3-4 minutes (depending on the thickness of your pasta).

fresh squid ink sacs
(on plastic wrap)

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