The most important step of this dramatic squid ink pasta from F&W BNC Katie Button is toasting the noodles. This step gives the pasta a nutty flavor, but also helps it maintain the perfect al dente texture while cooking undisturbed like a paella. Button finishes the dish by serving it with a creamy aioli.
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1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound angel hair pasta, broken into 1-inch-long pieces
1 pound squid bodies and tentacles, tentacles cut in half and bodies sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
One 14.5-ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
2 teaspoons squid ink
1/2 teaspoon pimentón (sweet smoked paprika)
4 cups shellfish stock or low-sodium fish stock, warmed
Catalan Aioli, for serving
How to Make It
In a 16-inch paella pan or cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the noodles and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the paella pan and reduce the heat to moderately high. Add the squid and season with salt salt. Cook, stirring, until starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and reduce the heat to moderate. Add the minced garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent and soft, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes turn a dark brick red and start to stick to the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the toasted noodles, the hot stock, squid ink, pimentón and season with salt. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously, and then spread the noodles in an even layer. Do not stir. You want to cook the noodles until they’re just tender and stick to the bottom of the pan and make a snap, crackle, and pop noise, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve immediately with the aioli.
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