Squid ink is a strange ingredient to many people, but in Italy, however, it is quite common and appears in all manner of stews, risottos and pastas. In addition to its visual impact, squid ink adds a savoury, iodine, almost sea-like taste to the dishes it is added to.
In this recipe I have used squid ink pasta, which is great fun to make, and combined it with luxurious sea bass to make a wonderful tortellini. If you can’t make tortellini this combination will work just as well with ravioli, so don’t worry if you’ve never made tortellini before.
The sauce for the pasta is as simple as they come, butter, chopped chilli, parsley and lemon zest and juice . . . what more do you need 🙂
To make your squid ink pasta =
3 egg yolks
3 sachets squid ink (available from some fishmongers)
250g 00 pasta flour, plus extra for flouring
2tbsp olive oil
By hand. Sieve flour out into a mound on a work surface, make a small well with your finger and the place the squid ink, eggs and egg yolks into the centre. Using your fingers slowly bring the flour into the egg mixture in a circular motion and keep doing so until a dough begins to form, then use hands to knead to a smooth elastic dough. Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge, preferably overnight but at least for an hour.
(2). With a food mixer. Place all ingredients in a food mixer and blend to a dough. Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge, preferably overnight but at least for an hour.
For the dish –
1 quantity squid ink pasta dough
2 sea bass fillets, pin boned
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 red chilli, deseeded and fine diced
(1). Pre-heat the oven to 180c/Gm 6.
(2). Place your sea bass fillets on a baking tray, season and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
(3). Once cooked remove sea bass from oven and allow to cool, then remove skin, place flesh in a bowl and mix with a dash of lemon juice and some chopped parsley. Leave in fridge till needed.
(3). Run your pasta through your pasta machine to the thinnest setting you can. If you don’t have a pasta machine use a rolling pin to roll the dough as thin as possible (this is really hard work, so a pasta machine is better).
(4). Lay your pasta sheets out on a board, remove your sea bass filling from the fridge. Using a teaspoon, or table spoon if making ravioli, dot a blobs of the filling in the middle of your pasta, leaving plenty of room around the outside for sealing your pasta shape.
(5). Brush around the filling with a little beaten egg, then either fold over the dough (tortellini) or place another pasta sheet over the top (ravioli), press down around the filling to eliminate any trapped air then use a pasta or dough cutter to cut out your desired shape. Press around with fingers to seal thoroughly, then fold to desired shape (tortellini).
(6). Place your pasta on a floured plate or board and leave to dry slightly.
(7). Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a good pinch of salt, let the water return back to the boil, then add your pasta to cook. Fresh pasta like this will take around 3 minutes.
(8). In a separate pan, melt the butter and add a dash of oil to prevent it burning. When it’s melting, add the chopped chilli and then add the lemon juice and zest, stir to incorporate.
(9). When your pasta is cooked, remove from the water with a slotted spoon and add to the lemon and chilli butter. Stir around to coat the pasta then add the chopped fresh parsley, stir one last time then serve in bowls.