Spaghetti alla Seppia Nera
We stopped going to Modena centro to shop at the covered market and lunch at Aldina when the kids were having golf lessons on Saturdays. Then the lessons stopped when the weather turned cold and we found ourselves driving into town yesterday like before.
Almost everywhere you turn you see bottles of expensive balsamic vinegar on display. Christmas is round the corner and I suppose they imagined that we would want to be giving those away as presents.
At the market, we shopped for organic bread, beef, cheese, vegetables...and then I saw the seppia (squid). If you remember, just last Saturday I was at Margi's in Bologna and she cooked me Spaghetti alla seppia nera. I toured the 3 stalls selling seafood a few times and finally decided to buy 2 seppias, Hub not being too keen on them.
My 2 squids were white. Margi's were covered with black ink. But the Chinese girl selling them told me they contained ink. I started cleaning them and they were still white. Hub said I should never have trusted the Chinese girl. That she would tell me anything to sell me her squids. I didn't bother to answer him.
Then I saw that one of them had a little round pocket that looked as if it had something black inside. I put it aside and started to prepare my dish.
Squid, Ink and Pasta :
Spaghetti for 1 or 2 persons
2 Squids (about 250g each, with their ink)
3-4 large Garlic cloves (diced)
4-5 Cherry Tomatoes (quartered)
A handful of fresh Parsley (chopped)
Red Chilli (optional)
Salt and Pepper
Margi's Hub Enea was the one who taught her how to make this dish and she has been cooking it for them since. I saw her posting pictures of her dish in Facebook and drove all the way to Bologna insisting that she cooked it for me. Very thick-skinned as usual.
It's a simple, ugly but delicious pasta, though watch out for the black mouth that you'll get at the end of your meal. And it's a fishy dish, you have to like the smell and taste of fish to go for it.
Heat up a generous amount of olive oil in the frying pan and fry the garlic till fragrant. Add in the diced chilli and chopped tomatoes and squish them a little with the spatula.
At this point I added the squids and coated them with the fragrant oil. Poured in some white wine and then the ink from the little round pocket. Then I added in the parsley and the cooked spaghetti (al dente, of course), gave everything a good stir and ate it for dinner.
Black is beautiful, it is amazing how much black ink that little round pocket contained, I was really happy.