Impress your guests with this exotic dish that is deceptively simple! Derived from my best memory of Venice (and out of necessity here in the US - difficult to find outside nyc or sf, & pretty much impossible to get it on the cheap). This recipe can be done in 15 minutes.
As usual, this is the lazy bum's approach - I'm not cleaning a cuttlefish and collecting ink. Buy a jar of squid ink from your local whole foods (or similar specialty grocery, or amazon) and get pre-cleaned cuttlefish - previously frozen is perfectly fine. Get the pasta boiling and start with a sofrito base; saute squid or cuttlefish in the base; add squid ink and a broth (I'm using clam juice, seafood stock or even vegetable broth would work just as well)
A sofrito is a blend of aromatics, I would say the only essential component here is olive oil, garlic, and onions. You can dial back the tomatoes and pepper if you're not a big fan of sweet and spicy, or if you have an empty pantry. (Tomato paste & paprika powder will work just as well as substitutes if you don't have fresh veggies!)
1 lb spaghetti
1 onion (preferably Vidalia, use yellow if you can't find sweet onion)
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small chili pepper, chopped (~1tbsp)
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 lb cuttlefish, sliced
1 tbsp squid ink
1/2 cup clam juice
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Saute the onion until translucent, add finely sliced garlic and cook until softened & fragrant. Add chili pepper and give it a sear for a minute or two. Then add diced tomatoes and cook until softened. Add cuttlefish and sear until flesh is no longer translucent, about 3~4 min. Add squid ink and clam juice. Bring to a boil and toss with cooked pasta. Garnish with parsley and cherry tomatoes.
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