Saturday, December 19, 2009

Squid-ink spaghetti with crab, fennel, and shallot

Chef Freitag, on Iron Chef, for a crab-themed episode against Bobby Flay, made a simple pasta dish: homemade spaghetti, fennel, leeks, and crab. We decided to do her one better.

Begin by making squid-ink pasta. We used three cups semolina, some salt, one oz squid ink, and three eggs. Don't worry that the pasta starts out gray and cement-looking; it will darken with time. Roll out the spaghetti in a pasta press. Squid ink smells fishy, so it goes very well with crab. It's totally water-soluble, but will get all over your hands.

Next clean and shell one cooked crab. Coarsely chop one bulb of fennel, washed, and one bunch spring shallots. Saute the vegetables in olive oil and salt.

Start a large pot of well-salted water boiling before beginning to saute the veggies. When the veggies have softened and the water is roiling, add the crab to the veggies and the pasta to the water, stirring the pasta to break up the clumps. Cook the pasta two minutes, until it floats, drain well, and toss with the sauce. Serve with grated romano.

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