Ridiculously easy to make.

Absolutely heavenly to eat.

Enough said.

 

josashimi’s creamy bacon and sun-dried tomato pasta sauce

Makes enough for 500 g pasta

Ingredients

150 g sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

200 g streaky bacon, chopped

150 g mushrooms, sliced

1 small onion, finely diced

2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 cup red wine (optional)

1 can crushed tomatoes

2/3 cup cream

1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs

Method

Heat oil in pan and fry onions for 5 mins, then add garlic and red wine. Cook on high heat for a further 5 minutes.

Add bacon and sun-dried tomatoes, stir, for 2-3 minutes, then add mushrooms. Cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add canned tomatoes, bring to a simmer, add cream. Stir through to mix well.

Turn off heat and allow to sit while you cook the pasta.

Toss through hot pasta and serve with shavings of parmesan cheese

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  3 bags of Squid Ink Pasta were highlights of my haul from the Hampton Food Festival last year

I first discovered squid in pasta in the late 90s, when I worked near an excellent delicatessen. Maria was the Italian lady who owned the store and she kept it stocked with all kinds of gourmet comestibles; squid ink pasta was just one of them. Funny thing was, she would often ask me, when I came in for a packet of the stuff, how I cooked it and what did it taste like!

Squid ink is just some dark coloured pigmentation that the squid releases when it is threatened. The ink clouds up the water, which then enables the squid to escape from its predator. Ancient Greeks used squid ink as ink, but these days, squid ink is mainly used in cooking. You can buy squid ink from gourmet delis, to make pasta sauce or to flavour some risotto. Or, you can even harvest the ink yourself, fresh from the squid! I’ve not had the pleasure of cooking squid ink myself, but I’m sure squid ink pasta itself comes close.

 Squid ink pasta is an arresting sight – it basically looks like matt, charcoal black stuff, completely unlike anything one would actually eat. It tastes ever-so-subtly of the sea, and I have to say, it gives me a thrill to twirl long, glossy black strands around my fork and convey it into my mouth. It’s like eating a dark little drama, a mouthful at a time. Try it and see.

  

Chorizo and Mushroom Sauce for Squid Ink Pasta

I came up with this sauce recipe the very first time I cooked squid  ink pasta and I pretty much make it every time we have squid ink pasta. The spicy, smoky chorizo marries well with the pasta’s seafood tang; the smooth, earthy mushrooms balances out the dish.

Ingredients:

3 chorizo sausages, sliced

300g fresh button mushrooms, sliced

1 x 800g canned tomatoes or 1 jar tomato passata

4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped

200g baby spinach, washed

salt and pepper, to taste

oil

Method:

Heat oil in a large pan, and garlic and stir for 3-4 minutes

Add chorizo slices, stirring for about 5 minutes, then add mushrooms

Once the mushrooms are just cooked, add the tomatoes and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes

Stir the spinach leaves through right at the end, allowing the leaves to just wilt and darken