Adding the obsidian, mysterious sheen of squid ink to a fresh batch of pasta dough gives it a striking appearance; a piece of edible melodrama. Most traditionally used in Italian cooking, squid ink (or sometimes cuttlefish ink) imparts a subtle flavour upon the pasta dough, but it is neither as strong nor overpowering as one might expect. Instead, it gives off a slight hint of saltiness. For us, it provides a faint whisper of the ocean that the squid come from, whisking us away to the Italian seaside.
Serves: 2-3 people
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Calories per serving: 468 kcal
- Pasta machine or rolling pin
- 200g 00 flour (plus more for your work surface)
- 2 large eggs
- 1.5 tsp of squid ink
Chef’s Tip: The perfect ratio of eggs to flour is 1 egg for every 100 grams (this amount serves 1-2 people).
Should you need any guidance on how to make your pasta dough, follow along with Chef Roberta as she takes you through the process, step by step. Just add squid ink.
Make the dough
- Place your plain flour onto a clean work surface. Using your hands, make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork until smooth.
- Using your fork, begin to incorporate the eggs and squid ink with the flour until everything is roughly combined.
- Start to knead the dough together with your hands. It will look a little scrappy at the start but don’t let this put you off; your dough should come together into a nice, smooth ball after about 5 minutes of kneading. Once the ball feels silky smooth, lightly push your finger into it. If the dough springs back, this means that the gluten has fully developed and it is ready to rest.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. After the dough has rested, it is ready to be rolled with either a pasta machine or rolling pin.
Roll out the dough
Before you start: Freshly made pasta dries very quickly, so it’s important to cut or shape it as soon as possible after rolling. As you will have to roll the dough out in batches, ensure to cover it as you go along with a clean, damp tea towel. This will prevent any dryness from taking hold.
Using a pasta machine
- Dust your work surface with a sprinkling of plain white flour. Cut off a small section of the pasta dough and loosely form it into a ball. (Ensure to cover the rest of the dough with cling film, lest it will dry out.)
- Set the pasta machine to the widest setting and roll the ball of pasta dough through it. Click the machine down a setting and continue to roll the pasta through until it is translucent (around setting 6 or 7).
Using a rolling pin
- Rolling by hand follows much the same process as the machine, albeit with a little more elbow grease, or olio di gomito, as the Italians would say. Cut off a small section of the pasta dough and loosely form it into a ball.
- Lightly flour your rolling pin and begin rolling the dough as you would with a pastry crust, starting in the centre and rolling away from you to the outer edge.
- Turn the dough slightly and repeat, working your way around, until the sheet of dough is about the thickness of a 2p coin.
Choosing the right shape for your pasta
When it comes to pasta shapes, there are a plethora to choose from. Need a little bit of help narrowing down your options? We’ve put together several guides to help make a range of popular pasta shapes: