The Sauce: Ink Pasta Sauce – Fresh lemon, olive oil, chili oil, Parmesan cheese and parsley combine for a sauce to showcase the ink pasta.
‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’
My first everything with cuttlefish happened when I was invited to test a recipe for The Washington Post last month. It was my first time buying cuttlefish, first time cleaning it, first time cooking it but also my first time harvesting cuttlefish ink.
The ink is a defensive mechanism used against predators. Released backwards, it causes a cloud to confuse the hunter’s view while the cuttlefish dashes away to safety. The ink is very dark brown-black and located in a sack between the gills.
It’s used in cooking as a coloring for pasta and sauces and has a mild ocean-ey, salty flavor. Kneaded into homemade noodles, it’s rich color creates a striking dark charcoal dish. Compliment it with fresh lemon, chili oil and grated parm. If you’re not cleaning a fresh cuttlefish anytime soon, find it online in small pouches, or try squid ink.
Recipe: Cuttlefish Ink Pasta
Active Time: 40 Minutes | Total Time: 2 Hours 40 Minutes | Yield: 6 Servings
Special Equipment – large pot
1 Place flour in a pile on the counter. Make a well. Crack the eggs into the well and squirt in the ink. With a fork, beat the eggs and ink until smooth. Gradually pull flour into the eggs ensuring the flour is absorbed before adding more. Once the mixture is too stiff for a fork begin kneading. Add more flour until the dough is smooth and pliable moving any excess flour to the side. The amount needed will vary depending on current heat and humidity.
3 Cut the disk into quarters. Dust the work surface and place one piece on the flour. Keep remaining dough covered to prevent drying. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick using plenty of flour to prevent sticking.
4 Fold the dough a couple of times then cut to desired thickness. Unroll the noodles and let them rest on the counter or a clean kitchen towel. Repeat with the other 3 pieces of dough.
5 Cook pasta in a large pot of salty water until al dente. Place drained pasta on a platter. Add olive oil, lemon juice and gently mix to coat noodles. Sprinkle Parmigiana-Reggiano over the top, drizzle with chili oil and sprinkle with parsley.
The amount of flour needed to make pasta depends on the current heat and humidity.
The cuttlefish ink is a little salty so there is no need to add salt to the dough.
This makes a delicious pasta dish on its own merit. Serve as a side dish with cuttlefish.
- Exchange cuttlefish for squid ink.
Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Cuttlefish Ink Pasta
Written by Helen Horton
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: January 27, 2014