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Cook the Book Party Planner: Black Tagliatelle with Cuttlefish

"The light sauce allows the unctuous, sea-flavored pasta to really shine through."

Since most of us have at least a little time off for the holidays, I thought it might be fun to include a final recipe for our Feast of the Seven Fishes from La Cucina that is a bit more adventurous, both in ingredient and technique.

This recipe for Black Tagliatelle with Cuttlefish a Venetian dish of homemade squid ink pasta sauced with cuttlefish in a tomato and white wine sauce. Making pasta at home is a time-consuming project but a fun, tactile, and immensely satisfying one.

If you aren't a pasta-making pro, it might require an extra set of hands, especially if you are using a hand cranked pasta machine (so maybe invite a kitchen-curious dinner guest over a little early).

If you can't find a cuttlefish with its ink sac still intact, you can pick up a little jar of squid ink at most specialty foods stores (the flavor won't be compromised). In past experiences I've found that adding squid ink to pasta dough makes it slightly easier to work with. The dough seems to come together more cohesively and is slightly less sticky.

Once the pasta is rolled out it should be hung up to dry while you prepare the sauce. There are wonderful little pasta drying racks out there but I've found that clean dish towels draped over the backs of my dining room chairs works just as well.

While the pasta dries the simple sauce is made with a garlic and shallot infused butter, white wine, some tomatoes, and pieces of cuttlefish. The light sauce allows the unctuous, sea-flavored pasta to really shine through. Homemade pasta is always an impressive dish to serve to guests but this one will bowl them over—one mention of the cuttlefish ink sac and you will be a pasta hero.

Win La Cucina

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of La Cucina to give away this week.

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