There’s more to squid ink than its distinct black hue. The glossy, slick-black liquid imparts a gently briny flavour, along with its signature colour, to risottos, sauces and, of course, pasta, making it a perfect fit for striking seafood dishes.
This pasta recipe, inspired by Mitch Orr’s recipe for Gourmet Traveler, is deceptively easy to make, coming together quickly in your stand mixer. Even better? While we’ve gone with orecchiette-inspired rough disks (to which sauces and flavoured oils eagerly cling), this pasta dough can be shaped into linguini, spaghetti, pappardelle, macaroni or any other favourite pasta shape.
Tossed through an oil infused with speck and garlic, and accompanied by plump, seared prawns, tangy chèvre and peppery rocket leaves, this dish makes a striking al fresco spring lunch or memorable dinner party dish.
Combine the pasta ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using the dough hook attachment, mix until the ingredients come together into a soft dough. If the dough feels too dry, add a small amount of water. If too wet, add a little flour.
Flatten the well-kneaded dough into a round disc, seal tightly in plastic wrap, and set aside for at least one hour at room temperature.
Once rested, roll the dough into your chosen pasta shape. Use a pasta maker to roll thin sheets to cut into linguine, fettuccini or pappardelle, or hand-form orecchiette, gnochetti or casareccia.
Bring a large pot of very well salted water to the boil and cook the pasta for 4-5 minutes, or until al dente.
Meanwhile, warm the oil in a large, deep frying pan over a medium-high heat, and add the speck. Saute until the fat begins to render and the edges brown. Remove the speck from the pan, keeping the oil, and add the prawns to the pan. Cook until just-browned on both sides, and remove from the pan. Add the garlic to the pan, cook for 30 seconds, then return the speck and prawns to the pan.
Transfer the pasta from the pot to the pan, ensuring you also bring across some of the cooking liquid, and toss or stir the pan until the oil and pasta water emulsify and create a glossy sauce.
Season with salt and pepper, divide into four bowls, squeeze with fresh lemon, top with chèvre and rocket, and serve.