Mary Beth Clark

Culinary Educator · Consultant · Author

Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Cuttlefish Ink and Seafood

Spaghetti alla Chitarra al Nero di Seppia al Frutti di Mare

Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Cuttlefish Ink and Seafood is a much-anticipated addition to Christmas Eve's Feast of the Seven Fishes or La Vigilia. Pasta turns brown-black or blue-black when cuttlefish or squid ink is added to the flour. This pasta has firmer texture than plain flour pasta, and its color is certainly dramatic, isn't it? Keep the sauce simple with briny fresh seafood, and a light sauce of olive oil, wine, and broth. Garnish with a touch of fresh chopped parsley. In a hurry? This pasta dish can be prepared very quickly by purchasing either mixed cooked seafood or seafood salad in olive oil. Delectable.

4 servings as a first course or 2 as a main course. Cooking time is 10 minutes.

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds (680 g) mixed seafood (Any combination of shrimp, calamari, cuttlefish, shelled clams, shelled mussels, boiled octopus)
1 to 2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 118 ml) white wine
2 cups (16 ounces or 473 ml) broth, or as much as you like
Sea salt to taste

Recommended Pasta:
1 pound (454 g) black spaghetti alla chitarra with cuttlefish or squid ink, spaghetti, linguini, or trenette

Fresh parsley, finely chopped

1. Preparing the Seafood: Clean the seafood. If including octopus, precook, then chop and reserve. If including shrimp, cuttlefish, or squid, chop then reserve.

2. Boiling the Pasta: In a deep pot, bring lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking together. While it is boiling, scoop out 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 118 ml) pasta cooking water and reserve. Boil the pasta until it is firm al dente because it continues cooking with the sauce.

3. Making the Sauce: Meanwhile, in a broad non-stick pan, warm the oil over medium heat and saute the seafood for about 1 minute. Add the garlic and saute for seconds until fragrant. Increase the heat to high. Pour in the white wine and cook for a minute. Pour in the broth, season to taste with salt, and simmer for a minute. Drain the cooked pasta leaving just a little water clinging to the strands and add it to the simmering sauce. Heat through and toss. Ladle the pasta into broad bowls, garnish with parsley, and enjoy.





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