Friday, November 24, 2006

Black angel tagliarini

Black angel tagliarini sounds - and looks - really beautiful; the photo is as striking as the name. Apparently this dish is so-called because the white scallops look like angels atop the black pasta - Jamie ascribes it to Italian romanticism. I have eaten pasta with squid ink before, once, at university but never since, and I hadn't, until yesterday, made pasta with squid ink (I am not sure if Tesco sells squid ink...). Anyway I went to Carluccios a couple of months ago and brought back two sachets of squid ink with the intention of making black pasta, but we only got round to it yesterday. This is the second recipe in the fresh pasta section; the first was the papperdelle with a ragu of tiny meatballs that I made last month. We got a pasta maker with wedding vouchers and I love it (apart from the first stages of turning the dough into a pasta sheet, when you run it through the machine on its widest setting. It is amazing how quickly the ball of dough is flattened, but our machine wobbles madly at that point and one person has to hold it down tightly. When I am that person, the wobbling tends to be worse). Fresh pasta is so much easier than you could imagine - and fantastically good - and it makes you feel like a proper foodie. If I am honest, it wasn't making the pasta that has stopped me from suggesting this dish sooner - it is Simon's seafood problem. He has always eaten prawns and crab, and fish of all varieties, but until October he positively despised other forms of seafood; in October, thanks to the Jamie project!, he tried and liked mussels. Earlier in the week I tentatively suggested he might try scallops, and to his credit he was pretty keen. I love scallops. When I lived in France, I was sometimes fed coquilles Saint-Jacques, which would probably be my desert-island dinner; I haven't, sadly, eaten that dish for years...

Making the pasta is exactly like making usual egg pasta, only you add squid ink with the eggs. The scallops (which I bought at a fishmonger in town) were halved and scored, seasoned, then fried quickly in extra virgin olive oil, with chopped red chilli, garlic and parsley added after a minute. I put the pasta on to cook, added white wine to the scallops and let it reduce a little before adding butter and reducing further. Finally I tossed the pasta in the pan with the scallops and a squeeze of lemon juice, and served with more chopped parsley. This is a truly beautiful dish to eat as well as to gaze upon - even though before they are cooked, the pasta strands look like a cross between cobwebs and witches' hair! It tastes as good as it looks, and it is very quick and easy to cook (even if you make your own pasta, it still isn't arduous). The flavours are quite simple - chilli, garlic, wine, lemon - and the scallops of course are divine - angelic, one might say... Simon loved this too, which means Jamie has now converted my seafood sceptic husband to scallops as well as mussels. There are more scallop recipes in this book - I really look forward to the next one.


This is a truly beautiful dish to eat as well as to gaze upon - even though before they are cooked, the pasta strands look like a cross between cobwebs and witches' hair! It tastes as good as it looks, and it is very quick and easy to cook (even if you make your own pasta, it still isn't arduous). The flavours are quite simple - chilli, garlic, wine, lemon - and the scallops of course are divine - angelic, one might say... Simon loved this too, which means Jamie has now converted my seafood sceptic husband to scallops as well as mussels. There are more scallop recipes in this book - I really look forward to the next one.

1 comment:

FreyaE said...

Hi Kathryn! I'm not really a scallops fan (I always tend to overcook them so they resembly an old bicycle tyre!!) but this recipe looks so outrageously gorgeous that I might be forced to reconsider my opinion!
Have a great weekend!
Freya