Cruising down the Pick n Pay aisle the other day I immediately noticed the new black squid ink pasta on the shelf as part of their ‘Finest’ range. Being pleasantly surprised and a food stylist, I immediately needed to buy this slightly exotic food and turn it into a recipe that would hopefully turn into a pretty picture.
The pasta has no specific taste but by association, I wanted to do something seafoody.
As I most often do when thinking up recipes, I look in my fridge/freezer/cupboard to see what’s available and see that I had a bag of frozen mussel meat. Fresh would obviously be better.
I used an infused chilli oil to give this recipe a bit of heat as I think it’s an important component, but you could use finely chopped fresh chilli instead and in the quantity that you like or can handle.
Recipe: (This is enough for 2 generous portions or 4 smaller portions)
- 1 onion finely chopped
- chilli oil or olive oil / and or finely chopped chilli
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1/2 cup (125ml) dry white wine
- 1 tin of chopped peeled tomatoes
- 2 Tbs of chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 2 1/2 cups of mussel meat (I used frozen but fresh would be better)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) cream
- salt and pepper
- Squid ink spaghetti or any other pasta of your choice
- juice of a quarter of a lemon or a spritz of zest
Heat the chilli oil in a non-stick frying pan or pot and saute the onions until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic (and chilli if not using chilli oil) and cook for a further minute or so. Add the wine and allow this to reduce by 2 /3 or almost until it has all evapourate. Add the tin of tomatoes and simmer on a gentle heat for about 10 minutes with the lid on. While this is going on, cook your pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Add the mussel meat and cook for a further few minutes (lid off). Add the parsley and the cream and allow the sauce to thicken for a bit.
There is a lot of debate about whether you should ever serve cheese with seafood pasta, and my thinking is that it is fine without and also lovely with.
Its also highly recommended eating this with a cold glass of crisp wine, crusty bread to soak up the juices, and a green salad if you are making a meal out of it. I enjoyed it with a glass of stunning Laborie Sauvignon Blanc
seafood recipes have a look at my list in my recipe index.