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Pasta Al Nero Di Seppia

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Pasta with cuttlefish ink is a fish first course in perfect total black style.
One of the most recognizable and famous recipes of Sicilian cuisine, which, thanks to its particular taste, can also be found on the menus of starred restaurants.
It is a dish of poor origin that was once prepared by fishermen to avoid waste and make the most of these tender molluscs.
The recipe for linguine with squid ink, with its elegant simplicity, remains one of the indispensable dishes of our traditional cuisine.
The typical color of the pasta is given by the cuttlefish ink, a natural coloring with a delicate flavor and a light seafood taste which gives a pleasant salinity and flavor to the pasta.
It unequivocally stains hands and teeth and in any case it is a dish that does not allow half measures: either one goes crazy or one hates it.
Pasta with squid ink should be tried at least once in your life and since it is simple to prepare, you are happy to make it at home. In addition to being good, it is always a joy to bring to the table and, why not, also fun to eat especially if you have small children.
The preparation of squid ink pasta does not present particular difficulties. The most delicate operation is the removal of the black sac. If you have never done it before, we recommend that you have your trusted fishmonger carry out the operation. The only precaution is to pay attention to cooking times to ensure that the meat has the right consistency. Raw, seared or stewed, cuttlefish has no half measures. Either you don't cook it at all, or you do it for a few minutes or you continue until you regain the tenderness that medium cooking compromises.
And if we have convinced you to savor this much appreciated seafood dish, you can replace the linguine with spaghetti, tagliatelle or use squid ink to create a tasty risotto.

RECIPE

Scope Single dish, First course
  • 350 g linguine or spaghetti
  • 4 cuttlefish medium sized
  • 2 bags cuttlefish ink
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 chili
  • 1 table spoon tomato concentrate
  • 1/2 glass dry white wine
  • 1 sprig of parsley
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • sale q.b.

To clean cuttlefish, if you have never done it before, we recommend that you rely on your trusted fishmonger.

  • Clean the cuttlefish: remove the bone, eyes, beak and very carefully remove the pockets of cuttlefish that you will set aside. Keep the black sauce aside in a small bowl, covering it with a damp napkin so as not to let it dry.

  • Cut the head, dividing it from the rest of the body, remove the skin with your fingers and remove the skin.

  • Finally, rinse the cuttlefish under running water and leave them to drain.

  • Cut the mantle pulp into thin strips. If you prefer, leave the tentacles whole.

  • In a large saucepan or pan with high sides, pour plenty of extra virgin olive oil together with the chilli pepper and chopped garlic.

  • Brown slightly, add the cuttlefish and tentacles, and brown them for about 2-3 minutes over high heat. Pour in the wine and let it evaporate. At this point, set the whole tentacles aside, they will be used for plating.

  • In a bowl, dissolve the tomato paste with a ladle of hot water and mix. Add it to the pan together with the cuttlefish. Add salt and cook with a lid for about 7 minutes. To obtain soft cuttlefish after cooking, you can use 2 methods: quick cooking, as in our case, or long cooking of 40 minutes. In this way the cuttlefish will lose all its rubbery part.
  • In the meantime, prepare the pot with water on the heat. As soon as the water for the pasta has reached the boil, add salt and pour in the linguine. It will take about 8 minutes to cook.

  • Now, break the black pockets by pinching the blisters with scissors. Add it directly to the pan where you are preparing the sauce. With your fingers, squeeze out the ink which will be hard and gelatinous. Pour a little hot water and let it dissolve well.

  • 2 minutes before the pasta is ready, drain (reserve a little cooking water) and add it to the cuttlefish sauce. Finish cooking in the sauce, turn it until the color is uniform. Sauté it to flavor it. If necessary, add a little cooking water.

  • Turn off the heat, add a drizzle of oil, mix and serve. Serve the linguine with squid ink on serving plates, adding the reserved tentacles and chopped fresh parsley on top.

The black pockets color very intensely, generally one is used for every two cuttlefish.
Squid ink should be consumed very quickly because it tends to dehydrate quickly. It can be stored for a couple of days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
It can also be frozen: the bag full of black must be placed in the freezer in a sealed glass bowl, and must be consumed within 2 months. The frozen bag, as soon as it thaws, will have its delicious liquid inside again and you can easily reuse everything.
Squid ink can be used in any fresh homemade pasta to color it naturally, but also for the preparation of the bread you usually use.
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