Savory pasta dish for Lent
Squid ink pasta (pasta inchiostro)
This dramatic dish tastes as if you are eating the ocean — and nothing like the relatively tame flavor delivered by dried squid ink pasta.
Be careful when handling the ink; it stains.
Squid ink is available through tienda.com.
Adapted from “A Lenten Cookbook for Catholics,” by Angelo Stagnaro (Tau Publishing, 2013).
1 pound dried spaghetti, linguine, tagliatelle or rigatoni
10 ounces frozen peas (not defrosted)
1 cup no-salt-added vegetable broth
1 1/2 ounces (1 small bunch) basil, chopped
2 large tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped (may substitute 1 1/2 cups no-salt-added crushed tomatoes)
1/2 ounce squid ink (may substitute cuttlefish ink; see headnote)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnish
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
1 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Leaves from 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or pecorino-Romano cheese, for garnish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt, then the pasta. Cook according to the package directions (al dente). Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Meanwhile, combine the peas and broth in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, or just until tender. Add the basil and tomatoes; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat as needed so the mixture does not come to a boil.
Use a stainless-steel spoon to stir in the squid ink and crushed red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to low; partially cover to keep warm.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the garlic, stirring to coat. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until lightly golden, reducing the heat as needed so the garlic does not burn. Add the onion and stir to coat; cook for about 6 minutes, stirring a few times, until translucent. Remove from the heat.
Add the pasta, olives, pea-squid ink mixture and lemon juice to the saute pan (with the garlic and onion); toss lightly to coat. Add some of the pasta cooking water to loosen the mixture a bit. Add the parsley and capers; toss lightly to incorporate.
Transfer to a large serving bowl; drizzle with a little oil and sprinkle with the cheese. Serve warm.
Nutrition information per serving: 380 calories, 18 g protein, 59 g carbohydrates, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 380 mg sodium, 6 g dietary fiber, 6 g sugar