Guest Post: Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia
The Hungry Australian
The Hungry Australian
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  • 20 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 30 mins Print Pasta with squid ink - a goth looking pasta with all the flavours of the sea! Ingredients 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 red onion ½ bunch flat leaf parsley leaves 2 bird’s eye chillies 400g whole prawns (raw) 500g whole squid Squid ink (from ink sac) EVOO 1 cup of dry white wine 3 tbsp tomato paste 400g tomato puree 500g cooked spaghetti Instructions Finely dice the garlic cloves, red onion and parsley leaves. De-seed the birds-eye chillies and finely dice them as well De-shell and de-vein the fresh prawns. Place the prawn shells and heads in small pot, fill it with just enough water to cover the shells and bring it to a gentle boil. Once the stock begins to boil, lower the gas and allow it to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Now on to the daunting (and messy!) task of cleaning, prepping – well basically, giving a total make-over to one of the cephalopod family’s many ugly members. We’re going to try keeping the task as clean as possible, but don’t test your luck – you might want to replace that white t-shirt pronto. Start off by pulling the head and tentacles portion off from the body. Now, carefully remove the ink sac in one piece from innards. Bring the sac to the kitchen sink (trust me on this one), gently puncture the sac and empty the ink into a small bowl filled with 20ml of water. Beware of sneaky squirts! Squeeze and squeeze with all your might people, because we will need every drop of that blackish goodness to give our pasta some character! Cut across the head, separating the tentacles as a whole. Discard those horrid looking eyeballs and any innards you may find. Using a sharp knife, slice through the wings and separate them from the body. Slide your finger underneath the purplish skin lining its body and wings, peel it off and discard. Remove backbone from the tube. Using a long spoon, scrape and discard more gooey innards out of the tube. Give all the different squid parts a thorough wash. Slice the tubular body into 1 cm rings, the wings and tentacles in bite-sized pieces and set aside. With all the prep work done, time to bring on the heat! Start off by lining a pan with a few splashes of extra virgin olive oil over low to medium heat. Sauté the combination of finely diced onions and garlic until the onions appear translucent – releasing that inviting aroma we all love. Turn up the gas to medium and deglaze the pan with a cup of dry white wine. Allow things to simmer, eventually reducing the liquid down to ⅓ of the original amount. Now, add approximately 400ml of the prawn stock you made earlier to the pan followed by the finely diced chilies, tomato paste and puree. Next comes the squid pieces and all that sea goodness from its ink! Mix everything around to incorporate. Bring the liquid up to a gentle simmer and then allow it to reduce to a viscous consistency. Patience is key here. You don’t want the sauce to be too runny. Rather, the task here is to rid of at least ⅔ of the sauce’s water content - retaining the essence of flavour in the medium which will coat our pasta. You’ll thank me later. Once the right consistency has been achieved, add in the prawns - being really careful not to overcook them. 1-2 minutes should suffice. Throw in half the chopped up parsley leaves, reserving the rest when you plate up. Season with sea salt and black pepper (although you shouldn’t have to do much of it because the natural seafood flavours from the prawn and squid will be sure to boldly make themselves known to your palate.) Now all that’s left is to mix it all up with your favourite pasta (good ol’ spaghetti will suit it pretty well) and serve it up to your soon to be goth-looking friends! 2.2.8



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