Squid Ink Cappellini

(4 servings)

Preparation Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes

I first had squid ink pasta when I was travelling in Venice way back in 2005 and instantly fell in love with it. I don’t know if it was the color of the pasta or the taste along with the fresh seafood it was served with but I took to it like a fish to water. Now I regularly cook with squid ink & if you follow our blog you would have seen the squid ink fideos posted during Spanish cuisine month which is one of our favorite dishes. On my recent visit to Chelsea market in NYC, I picked up squid ink & Italian ‘00’ wheat flour from the Italian store “Buon’Italia” and decided to try my hand at making cappellini.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons squid ink
  • ¾ pound Italian ‘00’ flour
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 start anise soaked in ¼ cup water (optional)

Method:

Dissolve the squid ink in the ½ cup water. In a mixing bowl add the flour and make a volcano like crater in the center. Pour in the squid ink mixture in the center and using a fork or spoon start incorporating the flour.

As you keep mixing the flour it will start forming a shaggy mass. Slowly start adding the star anise water and continue to incorporate.

Once the flour begins to form, transfer the dough to a work surface.

Dust the board lightly with flour and using your hands begin to knead. Keep kneading, turning the dough several times while doing so. (Around 5 minutes) Use the heel of your palm to push the dough down and then fold over the top. Rotate the dough about 90 degrees each time you do this.

Knead until the dough becomes smooth (Another 5 minutes). Form the dough into a smooth, round ball.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth or cling wrap and set aside for about 30 minutes. This allows the dough to breathe and relax and the dough will continue to absorb flour as it rests.

Divide the dough into 2 sections. Keep one covered and aside while you work with the other. Using your hands press the dough and spread it a little in an oval shape. Set the hand cranked pasta sheeter to ‘0’ and pass the dough through. Apply flour on both sides of the pasta sheet & roll out again at no. ‘1’ setting. Now fold the ends of the pasta sheet so that the width of the sheet is approximately the width of the pasta machine (Note – Through experience I saw that if there are lesser gaps between the ends of the pasta sheeter and the pasta, the dough gets rolled out better. If there are gaps and you are not an experts like me at rolling out the pasta, the pasta could start folding over at sections as you roll it out thinner).

Go back to the number ‘0’ and feed through the sheeter. Slowly and smoothly keep reducing the numbers on the sheeter and pass the dough through. Each time make sure that you sprinkle both sides with flour as needed. After you have rolled out the dough at number 5, split it into 2 equal sheets and pass each sheet through the number 6 setting. On my Marcato pasta machine I stopped at this number.

Now pass the sheet through the cappellini cutter supporting the cut pasta with your hands to keep the strands separated. Dust generously with flour and set aside to dry a little. Follow the same process for the remaining dough. Handle carefully as this pasta is fragile.

To cook get a pot of salted water to boil and boil briefly (2-3 minutes) and serve with your choice of seafood broth.

I served mine with scallops in a saffron wine sauce!

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