Squid Ink Pasta

My favorite bite in Venice, perhaps my favorite bite of our entire trip, happened when I ate squid ink pasta with cuttlefish for the first time.

Ever since, I’ve been obsessed with cooking the dish myself. I couldn’t find a satisfactory recipe, so I attempted to recreate it on my own. While it doesn’t have the freshness or the charm of dining al fresco along the Grand Canal, it’s a pretty solid rendition.

Squid Ink Pasta

Ingredients

1 pound spaghetti (we brought back some pasta with squid ink in the dough but regular pasta will work fine)

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp salt

2 tsp squid ink (the Alma brand on Amazon works well)

3 cloves garlic

12 oz mussels or shrimp or clams (precooked)

Fresh lemons

Method

Cook pasta in salted water to al dente. Reserve about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of cooking liquid. In separate pan, heat minced olive oil, pepper flakes, and salt. After the garlic has become fragrant and soft, add the squid ink. Add drained pasta to the oil, watch for splatters. Add precooked seafood. Stir, using the cooking water to incorporate the ink and pasta and oil together. Squeeze fresh lemon over top. Serve with lemon wedges, so people can lemon the dish to their heart’s content.

Enjoy!

BBQ Shrimp

This September I went to Paris. Great bread, buttery sauces, beautiful architecture. But the whole time I was there, I couldn’t help but think–We do all this better in the US, right? New Orleans is basically Paris…but better? Right?

Delicious Ledenheimer bread. Beautiful, colorful buildings. Drinking in the middle of the street. Buttery and spicy sauces.

NOLA wins.

While I’m not from New Orleans or the South, I take great pride in recreating dishes from their incredible food culture. Dishes like gumbo have been labors of love. But this BBQ Shrimp dish, lifted from Paul Prudhomme, has been a simple slam dunk from the first time I made it (many, many, many mouthwatering meals ago).

BBQ Shrimp

1 pound large shrimp with shells on

Spice mix: 1 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp rosemary, 1/8 tsp oregano

1 stick unsalted butter and 5 tbs

1 tsp Worcestshire sauce

3 clove grated garlic

1/2 cup seafood stock

1/4 Abita beer (Purple Haze recommended)

Method

Put large skillet on high heat. Add 1 stick butter, garlic, Worcestshire, and spice mix. Once butter is melted, add shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes. Rather than stir the shrimp, shake the pan. Make sure those shrimp dance around in the sauce. Get them well coated and starting to pink and plump up. Then add stock and 5tbs butter and cook for 2 minutes, shaking continuously. Add beer and cook for one more minute. Remove the shrimp from the heat and serve in a bowl of butter sauce with many, many slices of crusty bread.

I gua-ran-tee you will enjoy this!