Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Scariest Italian Food You'll Ever Eat

My decision for this week's snack went something like this:  "I want to make something scary for Rebecca."  I knew Rebecca was supposed to be creepy, and I knew it was Hitchcock, so I wanted to make scary, creepy, delicious food.  Obviously it was also important that we would want to eat it. I had many ideas, most of them involving chocolate.  I went on the Hershey website and found recipes for "Chocolate Sloppy Joes" and "Cocoa Currey."  I even found a recipe for "Chocolate Pasta."  But I think it was when I was seriously considering "Chocolate Chicken" that my friend AMS decided to step in.  She said, "That sounds terrifying."  And while that might be what I was going for, this was a friend I had invited over to eat my food.  But before I could snap that if she was so smart, she could should up with something--she did.  She said, "You know what's scary looking but really hard to make? Pasta with squid ink."

Now at first I wasn't amenable to this idea.  I don't want to ink a squid!  I also happen to dislike shellfish.  And when I pitched the idea to my roommate she said, "Absolutely not!  We are not going to have the apartment smelling like squid for days."  (Our apartment has a notorious lack of circulation.)  But as it turns out Squid Ink Pasta is not actually squid pasta.  It's a type of pasta with squid ink added.  So in fact all it does is turn the pasta black and give it a slightly salty taste.  According to AMS, this is an authentic Italian dish.  And upon further research, this recipe only became impossible if I was the one making the pasta.  Where does one find squid ink?  And so I trekked out to the North End in search of my scary looking pasta.

Thank God for Google.  I found a small homemade pasta shop with everyone that I needed (and quite a few things I didn't).  My arms full of yummy Italian produce, I hurried home to prepare.  And I think I turned out my best dish yet.  In any event it looks really, really cool.  Best Halloween pasta ever, despite it being July.

Scary Squid Ink Pasta
(serves 6)

You'll need:
Squid Ink Pasta (I used 3 of the containers above, about 2.5  pounds)
Pancetta (about 1/4 pound)
2 Red Bell Peppers
1/2 stick of butter
1/3 cup white wine
Salt and Pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

  1. Start boiling the water for the pasta.
  2. Dice the pancetta into small cubes, pulling away the fat.
  3. Slice the red peppers into small strips and chop the garlic. 
  4. Combine half the butter and all of the pancetta into a sauté pan on medium heat, stirring frequently until  the pancetta is browned, not burnt.
  5. Add the garlic, then the peppers.  Cook until the peppers are soft, not squishy.  
  6. Add the white wine and cook until simmering.
  7. Add the pasta to the water when it has reached a roiling boil.  The pasta should only be cooked for a few minutes, this pasta in particular needed about 5 minutes maximum.  Drain the pasta when it is al dente.
  8. Add the pasta to the sauté pan. Mix everything together and season with salt, peppers, and cheese.  Serve and enjoy!

The finished product!
Terrifying.  And the credit goes to AMS.  Thanks!  I think this meal went a long way towards fixing an overly long, sometimes dull movie.  And of course my other ill-gotten, expensive North End gains didn't hurt.  Mmmm...buffalo mozzarella.....

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1 comment:

  1. Yum! I'm ready for some more! It is even more terrifying looking in the pictures, but still tasted delicious.