I am a huge fan of Squid Ink Pasta and love how its subtle flavor infuses all the components of a good sauce with it's briny tang, so it was an easy choice to go with for this recipe. The Red Pepper theme for this week, inspired me to try a roasted red pepper pesto and the results were delicious! I spruced up the pesto with some sundried tomatoes and a wonderful spice that I bought, but hadn't yet had the chance to use, Piment d'Espelette. I made my own tagliatelle, but I have seen squid ink pasta in some Italian and Mediterranean markets as well, so hopefully, it isn't too hard to find. The Piment d'Espelette added a slight and wonderful warm, smokey peppery-ness to the sauce, but can be omitted or substituted with a smoked paprika or just freshly ground pepper will do. - TiggyBee —TiggyBee
Test Kitchen Notes
This dish was so outstanding! I had recently purchased Italian artisan squid ink spaghetti and was saving it for the right ingredients. Well, everything was in perfect harmony and truly inspired. I only used 4 large peppers and had plenty of pesto to dress the pasta (mixed with a bit of the pasta cooking water). The pesto sauce alone is worth making by the way. Am grateful to learn about the piment d'esplenette she recommends. Great recipe! – Amber Olson
- Serves 4
large red bell peppers
cloves of garlic
roasted pine nuts
extra virgin olive oil
sundried tomatoes (packed in olive oil)
Piment d'espelette or smoked paprika (optional)
sea salt to taste
butter for sautéing scallops
all purpose flour
- Place the red peppers whole in a baking dish and roast them in a 500 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, turning once after 15-20 minutes. The peppers are done when the skin is charred and wrinkled. The bottom of the dish can be sprayed with cooking spray to avoid sticking.
- When the peppers are done, remove from oven and place aluminum foil over the dish to trap the steam (this makes peeling them easy) and let cool for 30-45 minutes. Peel the skin and discard along with the tops and seeds.
- In a food processor, combine the garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, Pimente d'Espelette or paprika (again, this is optional) and sea salt and pulse until it's well combined.
- Lastly, add the peeled peppers and the sundried tomatoes and gently pulse a few times so that the peppers and tomatoes retain a bit of their chunky texture.
- For the pasta: in a food processor, combine the 3 eggs, flour and squid ink and pulse until mixed completely (it should form into a ball) and you have a rich, black color.
- Spread some flour on a clean surface and knead the dough for about 15 minutes, adding a bit of the flour as you go, if the dough is too wet. Tugging at the dough, it should have a good stretch to it.
- Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge, then divide it in half and roll the two portions one at a time through the pasta machine until it is a thin sheet, and then select whichever attachment you want the pasta to be in the shape of (I chose tagliatelle)
- To cook the pasta: Boil and salt the water and when the water is almost to a boil, begin your scallops.
- For the scallops: heat some butter and olive oil in a sauté pan and place the clean, dry scallops in the pan, salt and pepper them to your liking and sauté them for about 3 minutes a side.
- There will be a wonderful sweet scallop flavor in the sauté pan after they are cooked, save this and gently heat the pesto in it.
- Cook the fresh pasta for about 2 and a half minutes and drain. Add the pasta to the pesto in the sauté pan and toss. Place the scallops on top and enjoy!