Squid ink pasta and easy bolognese

Posted on: August 14th, 2012 by admin 1 Comment

I’ve always loved squid ink pasta.  Black food is just kind of bizarre and fun. Really this pasta - Tagliatelle al nero di seppia – is a delightful change from everyday golden pasta.  If you like making your own pasta (mmm) you can usually buy squid ink from decent fish mongers or some specialty stores (I included a great site with tips for using squid ink below).  Initially I always thought the color was mainly for effect – to impress guests at dinner parties and such, but actually squid ink has a subtle briny flavor that pairs well with seafood, ideally squid. Nevertheless it will impress your guests and I like the flavor with regular bolognese too.  I didn’t make my pasta, but bought mine dried, it’s not really expensive either.

Prepare pasta as your packet informs.  It’s much the same as regular tagliatelle. Or make your own!

Easy Bolognese

There are lots of bolognese versions, this particular recipe is really simple to make and incredibly tasty.

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 200 g mushrooms, chopped (optional)
  • 500 g minced beef
  • 1 x 400 g tin tomatoes (or thereabouts)
  • (I will sometime use half a tin and 2 big fresh tomatoes, finely diced)
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan. Saute onions until soft. Add garlic and beef mince and brown over high heat, stirring constantly to break up the mince, then add the mushrooms and cook for another couple of minutes on high. Add tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, herbs and seasonings. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 15 minutes until lots of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is thick.

Spoon bolognese over top of your cooked pasta and sprinkle generously with shaved or grated parmesan cheese and parsley if you have it.  Serve with salad, maybe garlic bread and red wine!

If you would like to make your own pasta, there’s a wonderful recipe here as well as great tips for working with squid ink.

Song for this recipe:

“Sea legs” The Shins Sea Legs - Wincing the Night Away

The Shins album, Wincing the night away, it still one of my favorites.  They recently released a new one – Port of Morrow, which is proving to be equally comprehensive, even with a band member switch-up.  The American indie rock band is lead by James Mercer who has an impressive talent for writing and singing.  I alway enjoy an entire Shins album, which is a big plus now a-days, when people tend to buy songs more than whole albums.  I like track ten as much as 1, which is a great accomplishment in my book.  I think you should listen to as many ‘sea’ songs as you can while eating squid ink pasta, it makes you feel like you’re on holidays, preferably in Italy.

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One Response

  1. Emma says:

    So decadent! I’m fascinated by black food also – I’ve been trying to get my hands on black sticky rice here in Australia for ages.

    Love the fancy take on spag bol, looks wonderful :)

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