Homemade Cuttlefish Ink Pasta

Spring is almost here, my favorite season of the year, the feast of life. I decided to celebrate it with a wonderful black (weird eh?) recipe: homemade cuttlefish ink pasta.

So, homemade cuttlefish ink pasta. Are you scared of the idea of making your own pasta? I get it, it sounds a little bit scary. But really, you have to believe me, it is a wonderful process. Especially if you love cooking from scratch.

I am totally in love with the homemade cuttlefish ink pasta recipe. Not only for the taste of the sea that I had in my plate but also for the philosophy of the recipe. The recipe shows the needed respect to the key ingredient used, meaning the cuttlefish. 

What I mean? The black color of the pasta comes from the cuttlefish ink that I would otherwise have thrown away. You know, I’m a big fan of what we call “love food, hate waste”. With this recipe you can use the ink of the cuttlefish for colouring the pasta and its flesh for making a perfect sauce to accompany your pasta. 

Tips for making the perfect pasta

When I have made homemade pasta for the very first time I was pretty nervous about the result. The whole process takes time and patience, while if you fail a lot of ingredients goes to waste. So I thought to gather some helpful tips in order to mitigate the chances of failure. Here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. The flour: Good pasta stands out from its texture. Right texture can be achieved through fine semolina (or semola flour), do not use only flour. In the recipes that I have made I add put fine semolina and 00 type flour in a ratio of 1:2, or 2+. There are recipes that contain only semola flour, but I have not tried so I have no opinion.
  2. Moisture: Moisture in pasta dough comes from eggs, olive oil, water, cuttlefish ink or even pulp of ground vegetables such as spinach. Whatever lectures you choose, keep in mind the following rule: measure the amount of flours and add 30% liquids and 1% salt. Also, have in mind the temperature of the liquids, not hot or cold. Keep them at room temperature. While, they should be added slowly to the flour mixture.
  3. Kneading: Whether you choose kneading by hand (I have never done it, in the end I always get to the mixer) or by using the mixer, remember one thing: the dough will never be a nice smooth dough, it will have something some crumbs. Just push inside the dough the crumbs until the ingredients are no longer visible.
  4. Resting: Like any dough, pasta dough needs rest. Resting allows the flour to hydrate, so the dough becomes smoother and more workable. The dough should rest for at least 30 minutes, ideally for an hour. You can also put it in the refrigerator for one night, just before using it, leave it out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes to come to room temperature before rolling. 
  5. Rolling: After resting, the dough is elastic and ready for shaping. I use a classic pasta cutter for transforming my pasta dough into fettuccine, spaghetti or even ravioli. But you can do it by using a very sharp knife. Cut sheets of pasta in many ways without any particular shape. Strips, noodles, or fold the sheet over and cut to make rounds to form tagliatelle. 
  6. Boiling: You should add enough salt in the boiling water, because the pasta will be a short time in it. Two or three minutes of boiling. How much salt? If you try the water and think you drink sea water then it’s ok.

Homemade Cuttlefish Ink Pasta

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Homemade Cuttlefish Ink Pasta

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs (maybe you will need one more egg yolk)
  • 1 tbsp cuttlefish ink
  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups 00 flour
  • 1 cup fine semola flour or fine semolina

Instructions

  1. Place eggs and cuttlefish ink in a blender and mix on low speed for a second or two until uniformly colored. This ensures the color is distributed evenly and you don’t end up with a streaky dough.

  2. Combine 00 flour and semolina in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted. Add the egg mixture and knead on low speed for 3-4 minutes or until dough, while it might appear crumbly, will stick together when squeezed. If your dough seems particularly, add a teaspoon or two of water until dough just comes together. At this point I have added the extra egg yolk. 

  3. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and allow to rest at cool room temperature for an hour, or in the fridge for longer. If you rest your dough in the fridge allow it to come to room temperature before rolling, it will need around 30 minutes. 

  4. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and let’s start its trasnformation, by using a pasta cutter or a sharp knife. 

  5. By using a sharp knife: Dust a clean surface with some flour and by using a rolling pin make very thin sheets of dough. Try not to make the edges thicker, the sheet has to be equally thin. To give some shape to the pasta use a very sharp knife. Cut the sheets of pasta in many ways without any particular shape. Strips, noodles, or fold the sheet over and cut to make rounds to form tagliatelle. 

  6. By using the pasta maker: Using your hand, press and flatten one piece of dough in order to be able to come through the rollers. Dust the rollers with some flour and feed the dough through the rollers. Dust of excess flour and then fold the rolled dough into thirds. Lightly dust with more flour as needed, then feed the dough through again. Repeat this rolling and folding process once or twice more until the dough is smooth. Once smooth, stop folding, and start increasing the roller settings one notch at a time until the desired thinness is achieved. For fettuccine noodles, I recommend going up to 6 or 7. Feed the piece of dough into the fettuccine cutter.

  7. You can boil pasta immediately in salted water for 2-3 minutes or keep them in the refrigerator for one day. If you leave them in the fridge, sprinkle them with semolina to keep them from sticking together.

I  hope to enjoyed my recipe and to make you wanna make some homemade pasta. I really recommend it, it is so relaxing. 

Until the next recipe I will be happy to hear from you either on Instagram, or Facebook or Twitter!

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