Squid Ink Pasta by Chef Bret Bannon

Squid ink pasta
Taken by David Schmit Photography

Looking for a way to mix up your next batch of homemade pasta? Try this Squid Ink Pasta! This dish serves 6 as main or 8 as first course.

Squid Ink Pasta Dough Ingredients

1 ¾ cups (8 oz) all-purpose flour, plus some for dusting countertop
6 large egg yolks, room temperature (freeze egg whites for another use)
1 large egg, room temperature
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Kalona SuperNatural Organic Milk
1 tablespoon squid ink*

Squid Ink Pasta Dough Directions

Mound the flour in a large bowl. Create a well in the center that is large enough to hold the other ingredients without spilling over the sides.

Pour the remaining ingredients into the well. Using two fingers break up the eggs and begin stirring in a circular motion, keeping everything within the well. This circular motion allows the eggs to gradually pull in flour from the sides of the well. It is important that the flour not be incorporated too fast, otherwise, the dough may have lumps.

Keep stirring the eggs while slowly incorporating the flour. The dough will begin to hold together. At that time add any remaining flour with a flexible pastry scraper by lifting the flour up and over the dough that’s beginning to form into a ball. Bring the dough together with the palms of your hands and form it into a ball. Note: If the time of year is very dry all of the flour may not be incorporated.

Clean your fingers of dough and wash your hands. (It’s surprising how much easier it is to knead the dough with clean hands.) Turn the dough onto a clean, smooth countertop dusted with a bit of flour. Knead the dough by pushing it away from you with the heel of your hand. Form the dough into a ball and knead it again.  If the dough becomes too sticky add a bit more flour to the countertop.

Keep kneading the dough by pushing it away from you until the dough becomes silky-smooth.  The dough is ready when you can push your finger into the dough and it snaps back into place. The kneading process can take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. Even if you think you are finished kneading, knead it for another 10 minutes. You cannot over-knead this dough! It is important to work the dough long enough to pass the poke test; otherwise, when it rests, it will collapse.

Double-wrap the dough in plastic wrap to ensure that it does not dry out. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour before rolling it through a pasta machine. The dough can be made a day ahead, well wrapped and refrigerated; bring to room temperature before proceeding.

Cut the dough into quarters setting 3 of the 4 pieces under the plastic wrap. Flatten the piece of dough so that it will fit through the first setting of the pasta machine. Fold the dough into thirds and roll again on the first setting. Do this 3 or 4 times before moving to the second setting. The dough gains strength, as it were, by re-rolling it through the first setting.

Next, roll it once through the second setting and then move to the third setting. Proceed in this manner until you have reached the eighth setting. (Note – my machine has nine settings with the last one rolling the dough too thin.) After the final rolling out of the dough set it on a well-floured surface and cover with plastic wrap. Do the same for the other 3 pieces of dough.

After all the dough been rolled out, move to the linguini or fettuccine setting and cut each of the four pieces on this setting.  Hang the dough over a wooden dowel to dry for up to a couple of hours.

When ready to cook bring water to a boil in a large stock or pasta pot. Add a couple of tablespoons of kosher salt to the water. Cook the pasta for about 3 minutes or until al-dente. Top with a light sauce and serve.

Squid Ink Pasta Dish Ingredients

1 pound squid ink pasta* or regular linguini or fettuccine
1 pound, about 4 per person (14 – 16 count) shrimp, shell-on
1/2 small onion or 1 shallot, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
6 peppercorns
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
10 tablespoons (5 oz/ g) softened Kalona SuperNatural Organic Unsalted Butter, divided
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup uni (sea urchin)
1 cup dry champagne, optional (I enjoyed one from Gratiot-Pillière)
1 -2 cups seafood stock, freeze any remaining for another use.
Red pepper flakes or Piment d’espelette to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Chives, minced for garnish

Squid Ink Pasta Dish Directions

Peel and devein the shrimp, reserving the shells. In a medium saucepan, place the shrimp shells, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and peppercorns. Cover with water by about an inch (start with at least 3 cups of water) and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and allow to barely simmer for about an hour. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Reserve the stock and discard the shells, etc. If making the day before, cool in an ice bath. Refrigerate what is needed and freeze any remaining for another use.

Place a small sauté pan over medium heat, add bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon Kalona SuperNatural butter. Cook stirring often until the bread crumbs become toasty brown. Remove from heat and transfer to a small plate to stop the cooking.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, using a wooden spoon, whip together the remaining butter and uni. Set aside. When ready to proceed, set a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.

In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and the olive oil. Add the shrimp and sauté just until they are cooked through. Remove shrimp from the pan and set aside. Add the champagne, if using, and stock and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer and reduce to about 1/4 cup. Set aside. When pasta is cooked, drain and reserve about a cup of the pasta liquid.

Add the pasta to the sauté pan, stir in the uni butter, the cup of pasta liquid and the reserved shrimp.  Toss everything together until heated through. Divide pasta and shrimp among heated plates.  Top with toasted bread crumbs, cheese and chives and serve immediately.

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Bret Bannon.