Nothing screams Halloween dinner party quite like Black Squid Ink Pasta With Squid tentacles, simmered in wine and lots of fresh herbs!
Halloween Dinner Party
Halloween is a fun time to plan a dinner party!
The ambiance, the chill in the air, a crackling fire, and some yummy, yet creepy looking gourmet food makes for a very ‘grown-up’ dinner party.
And so, if an adult Halloween dinner party is what you’re after this year, let’s have fun with this, make it look like a plate of worms and yet taste absolutely delicious!
What on earth (or sea), does squid ink taste like? If you can get past the color, like… really dark grey/blue or black liquid color, it really is just a briny, salty flavor that can be used in both savory or sweet foods. Just think of it as liquid salt!
The flavor in this black pasta is mild but what I love about it is the color. For my Halloween dinner party, it was the first thing I thought to serve to replicate slimy worms as a whimsical approach to an adult dinner party.
I created the rest of the recipe around the squid ink pasta, which of course, the tentacles had to be present!
Homemade Pasta – Squid Pasta Or Plain Pasta
Oh how I love to make homemade pasta!
It has become such an easy treat to make that I have even taught my grandchildren to make it.
Working with a dough hook fitted mixer, quickly takes a sticky dough and turns it into an easy dough to work with.
Once the egg mixture and all purpose flour comes together and can be rolled through the pasta roller on the widest setting, the rest goes quickly.
For my easy homemade pasta recipe, easily used to cut long pasta strips or fancy Garganelli, you will simply need pasta rollers, an attachment for your mixer or a free standing roller.
However, in order to make my own squid ink pasta, I had a hard time finding black ink!
I asked the seafood monger at Whole Foods if he had any ink of a squid, but of course no; they simply put out frozen, pre-cut/cleaned squid into their fish window.
So, I went to Trader Joe and found the squid ink spaghetti!
Why Squid Ink Pasta For A Dinner Party?
Once it was decided that I would use ‘spaghetti al nero di seppia’ the Italian name for black spaghetti, to look like worms on the plate, I next needed to decide on the fresh seafood.
While a variety of seafood options could have been chosen, I loved the idea of squid tentacles sticking out from the plate for that extra measure of Halloween whimsy.
A squid ink pasta sauce was not necessary since the pasta was dark enough, nor did I want a tomato sauce to camouflage the color of the pasta.
So, for a sauce, I chose a simple white wine pasta sauce, with a bit of heat from red chili flakes.
The squid tubes, cut into bitesize rings, and the tentacles were the perfect match to the theme of the squid ink pasta ‘worms’!
Having worked in large event catering parties with a family owned business, I learned a thing or two about ‘food prep’.
When pasta is on the menu, it is easy to pre-cook it to al dente, toss in a little olive oil and set it aside until ready to use.
When it is serving time, simply toss the precooked pasta in a hot sauce, turning gently to coat all the pasta, heat it back up and it is ready to serve and perfectly cooked.
This made serving time so much easier for my home dinner party.
- Squid ink pasta
- Squid – tubes and tentacles
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice and zest
- Red pepper flakes
- Dry white wine
- Asparagus tips
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Stock pot with lid
- Saute pan
- Draining bowl
- Stovetop or burner
What To Serve With Squid Ink Pasta Dinner Party
It’s always fun to cook for other foodies in the food industry; they appreciate unusual combinations and well planned gourmet food.
For the appetizers, on this Halloween dinner party menu, I made Cashew Cheese and Anchovy Tarts.
Easy to pick up without needing a plate, and easy to prepare a head of time.
For dessert, Pumpkin Ganache over individual spiced cakes and a dollop of cardamom cream on top.
Squid Ink Pasta With Squid And Wine
- large pasta pot
- large skillet or saucepan
- 1 lb Squid Ink Dry Pasta
- 1 tbsp Fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- White Wine Sauce
- 2 lb Squid – tubes and tentacles or sea scallops
- 1/3 cup Olive oil
- 4 Garlic cloves crushed
- 1/4 cup Capers
- 1/2 cup Celery confetti chopped
- 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes
- 1 cup Dry white wine
- 1 tsp Salt
- 12 Asparagus tips quickly blanched
- Lemon zest for finishing
- 1/2 cup Cilantro or fresh parsley finely chopped
- Cut squid tubes into bite size rings. Cut tentacles in half, making them bite size but leaving tentacles intact with the base.
- In a large pot of water, salted water, cook the pasta according to directions. If it is homemade squid ink pasta, it cooks quickly, otherwise a store bought squid ink linguini cooks in about the same time as regular pasta does, about 11 minutes.
- Once cooked, drain off the water, leaving the cooked pasta in the large pot and drizzle the fresh lemon juice and olive oil over the pasta and lightly toss.
- White Wine Sauce
- In a large saucepan bring olive oil, garlic, capers, celery, pepper flakes and wine to a slow simmer.
- Add squid and salt. Stir gently until the squid begins to change color, about 5 minutes or until no longer opaque. Do not over cook.
- Pour the squid and white wine sauce over the cooked pasta and gently toss.
- Place small bundles of pasta in each dish. Place the cooked squid on top of the pasta. Selectively place the blanched asparagus. Drizzle the hot broth across each dish and sprinkle the chopped fresh cilantro or parsley on top with a bit of lemon zest on each plate.