Squid Ink Mafaldine Pasta with Uni Butter

Briny, savory uni butter makes a delicious way to dress freshly cooked pasta—especially when you finish the dish with Boudet's extra-smoky take on the nutty Egyptian condiment, dukkah. If you can't find uni at your favorite fishmonger, it's also available online. And if you can't find any squid ink pasta, use any pasta shape you'd like. The dukkah makes more than you'll need for this recipe, so save the extra to sprinkle over grilled or roasted vegetables, or enjoy as a topping for any green or grain salad.

bowl of squid ink pasta with uni butter and small bowl of sukkah
Photo: Photo by Andrew Bui / Food Styling by Max Rappaport
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
Yield:
2 to 4

Ingredients

Dukkah

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds

  • 1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds

  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • Kosher salt

Uni Butter

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 ounce uni gonads

  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves

  • ½ small garlic clove, finely grated

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest and plus 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice

  • teaspoon kosher salt

Pasta

  • 10 - 12 ounces squid-ink mafaldine or other long dried pasta

  • ½ cup finely chopped scallions

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. While the water is heating, make the dukkah: In a small dry skillet, cook the pine nuts, fennel seeds, and sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and lightly crush, or place in a plastic bag and lightly crush with a rolling pin or skillet. Stir in the paprika and set dukkah aside.

  2. Make the uni butter: In a medium bowl, combine the butter, uni, oregano, garlic, red-pepper flakes, smoked paprika, lemon zest and juice, and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat the uni butter together until smooth. Set aside.

  3. Cook the pasta in boiling water until just al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of uni butter over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook, stirring often, until tender and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Add the cooked pasta and the 1/4 cup of pasta water to the skillet along with 2 more tablespoons of uni butter. Toss to combine, then divide among shallow bowls and serve garnished with a light sprinkle of dukkah.

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