Making fresh pasta requires quite some skill. Ink pasta, which gets its color by adding squid ink, is something for kitchen princes or princesses daring to go just one step further. As we would never dare to pretend that our homemade ink pasta would be better than the traditional artisans from Europe’s boot, our first stop today will be La Scoperta.
This deli shop can be found in the heart of Antwerp, near the ‘Meir’ and the ‘Theaterplein’. You will find all kinds of traditional Italian products and wines, all carefully selected at local, small-scale producers. We have to admit, there is nothing like rummaging around in a deli shop and discovering all kinds of delicacies. We select a box of Antica Pasta di Campofilone – Fettucini all’uovo al nero di seppia, which will be the basis of our dish, next to a nice piece of squid. We will combine these beautiful ingredients with the not that common yet quite widely available green top-products samphire and sea fennel.
Samphire grows where the sea meets the land, like swamps, beaches or mangroves. The flavor is salty and briny and the structure crunchy. While you can eat samphire raw too, the flavor is at its best when blanched or cooked shortly. This way the salty flavor is slightly mitigated.
Sea fennel has a similar habitat and is a true delicacy, and because of its funky looks ideally suited to garnish, especially for a briny dish like this one.
We will top off with I Greppi Di Silli, a top-notch olive oil from the region between Florence and Siena. We were tempted to try two varieties, as we used the Pendolino for the black pasta with squid, which is made by a kind of olive previously considered as a product of medium quality, but by optimizing the process, these olives now have a far better reputation. They are hand-picked at the beginning of the harvesting season and immediately put into ventilated boxes in order to process them within four to six hours. The Pendolino is a lightly fruity olive oil that combines nicely with fresh flavors and vegetables and is perfectly suited to make pesto alla Genoveso.
The icing on the cake – Spherika Gourmet Fresh Pearls – is made of lemon. These balls have the structure of fish eggs, but taste like lemon. They pop in your mouth, releasing a lightly sharp and refreshing aroma. Just to make things clear, this recipe does not just depend on this particular perk, using lemon zest will also do the trick by adding a fresh touch.
Pure, simple flavors are often the best ones. This black pasta with squid, samphire and sea fennel is the perfect proof.
- Black ink tagliatelle
- Sea fennel
- Lemon zest
- Fleur de sel
How to prepare?
- Blanch the samphire for about 5 minutes.
- Cook the water for the pasta, with some olive oil and salt.
- Fry the (cleaned) squid in a pan with olive oil.
- Prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
- Drain off the pasta and cook it together with the squid and some extra olive oil.
- Finish off by putting the pasta on the plate. Then add the squid, the samphire, the sea fennel and the lemon zest on top.
- Use some pepper and fleur de sel.