Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia con Calamari e Vongole

Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia con Calamari e Vongole

Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia con Calamari e Vongole

Hello Everyone! It’s week 2 of Pasta Month and let me tell you a little story (don’t I always? *cheeky grin*) before I move on to the recipe. The first time I had squid ink pasta was in an Italian Restaurant when I was studying in Sydney. If I’m not mistaken, the restaurant is called Pizza e Birra on Crown Street in the suburb of Surry Hills. I was having a fancy dinner night out with my flatmate at that time and squid ink pasta was on their specials menu. I was a bit hesitant at first because I obviously hadn’t tried it before and to be honest, I was a bit put off knowing that the colour of the pasta would be black (yes, at that time my palette wasn’t quite as sophisticated as it is right now). To my surprise, the squid ink pasta tasted like any normal pasta – it was just that the colour that was different to me. I’ve had my fair share of squid ink pastas, both in Australia, and here in Brunei. I decided to combine my favourite flavours from both experiences to put up this dish to share with you guys.

I’ve never made fresh squid ink pasta at home, and only because I have no idea where to source squid ink from besides from the ink sacs of fresh squids/cuttle fish. I did some reading online and found that you can actually buy bottled squid ink, but you definitely won’t find them in stores here in Brunei. Heck they don’t even have store bought squid ink pasta here! So how did I manage to source mine? Well, if you’re a regular follower/reader of my blog, you’ll know that I was in Singapore a couple of months back. I was shopping for groceries with my friends for a dinner party that night and I was flabbergasted by all the produce and products found in that grocery store. I was supposed to be focused on grabbing the ingredients I needed to cook my dish for that night, but instead I wandered off, going from aisle to aisle, looking at anything and everything. I found myself in the pasta aisle and that where I came across store bought squid ink pasta. You had no idea how excited and in shock I was when I saw it – because I had no idea that you could buy it on the shelves; and without any hesitation at all, I bought myself a pack to bring back here to Brunei. I know, I know – I’m crazy right? Haha. My next mission will be tomato squid ink pasta from scratch, and I’ll definitely share it on my blog whenever I get around to trying it out! For now, here’s one recipe you can do for your squid ink pasta:

Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia con Calamari e Vongole Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-15 MINS | SERVES 5

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pack (500g) squid ink pasta*
  • 1 pack (250g) cherry tomato medley, halved
  • 1 fish bouillon cube, dissolved in 2/3 cup of boiling water
  • 250g baby clam meat
  • 4 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 2 large squids, cleaned and cut into pieces
  • 1 lemon, wedged
  • 1/2 bulb garlic, minced
  • Olive Oil
  • Parsley, roughly chopped

*Fresh homemade squid ink pasta or store bought is fine for this recipe

METHOD

  1. Lightly score the inner surface of the squid, or alternatively, cut into rings. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the squid ink spaghetti according to packet instructions or until al dente.
  3. While the pasta is cooking away, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Sauté the minced garlic and chillies together until golden brown and fragrant.
  4. Add the clam meat, juice of half a lemon, and a pinch of ground black pepper. Give it a good mix before adding the fish bouillon stock. Turn the heat down to low and leave to simmer for about 3-4 minutes. Add in the calamari when the pasta is almost done.
  5. Once the pasta is done, drain and then transfer to the calamari and clam mixture. Turn the heat back up to medium-high and then give it a good mix. Top with the chopped parsley and then turn the heat off.
  6. Serve immediately with a lemon wedge. Enjoy!

Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia con Calamari e Vongole

Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia con Calamari e Vongole

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Hello Everyone! First off, I just want to say that this is the last noodle dish for the month of November! There’ll be one more post going up on Sunday on one of my designs, and after that I’ll be taking a 2-week break from blogging. There’s no particular reason for it – well okay, I guess you can say it’s for me to take a short break since I have been complaining for the past however so many posts about being mentally tired. It’s also mainly to go with the theme I have planned for next month; more will be revealed after my 2-week break 🙂

Okay, so before I dive into the recipe for tonight, I’d like to say sorry for a later than usual upload – I just came home from an evening with friends. We met up and did an escape room challenge together; well we split into two teams and did a different room from each other, CSI and Prison Break. Sadly I was in the losing team but they did say that CSI was definitely harder than the other one. Anyway, it was a fun night altogether but we didn’t get to talk much about our experiences over dinner because we didn’t want to ruin it for each other. Instead we vaguely talked about what we encountered and then all unanimously decided to go back again next week and do the rooms that we didn’t get to do tonight. All I can say that our brains were frazzled and scrambled after we got out of the CSI room – but in the end, we all had a great time. (I actually still can’t believe that I’m still mentally capable to write this post after a long day, and then a difficult escape room challenge).

Anyway! Back to tonight’s recipe – I don’t actually eat this dish that often, be it ordering it at a restaurant or making it at home. It’s not that I don’t like this dish, I actually enjoy it but not as much as the other noodle dishes. Char Kway Teow literally means stir-fried rice cake strips and is a national favourite in Malaysia and Singapore.

Here’s a fact that some of you may not know (I didn’t know myself too until I did my research), Char Kway Teow has a reputation of being unhealthy due to its high saturated fat content. It is this way because it made it attractive, in terms of it being a cheap source of energy and nutrients, to labourers since it was mainly served to them. When the dish was first served, it was sold by fishermen farmers and cockle-gathers who doubled as char kway teow hawkers in the evening to supplement their income.

Over time, the dish became increasingly popular and many cooks have developed their own interpretations while still using the same basic ingredients of ricecake strips/flat rice noodles fried with anything from eggs (chicken or duck), onions, garlic, prawns, cockles, Chinese sausage, chives, etc. Pork fat was predominately used to stir-fry char kway teow, but over the years, ordinary cooking oil is now used for health or religious reasons.

I based this recipe from Rasa Malaysia, so go check out the original recipe if you get the chance to!

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g kway teow noodles (rice cake strips)
  • 250g prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 100g baby clam meat
  • 100g beansprouts
  • 4-6 large free range eggs, sunny side-up
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Chinese sausages, sliced diagonally
  • 1 small brown onion, diced
  • Chilli paste
    • 30g dried red chillies, seeded and soaked in water until soft
    • 3 small shallots, diced
    • 2 fresh red chilies, seeded
    •  1 tsp oil
    • Pinch of salt
  • Spring onions

Sauce Mix

  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 dashes white pepper powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt

METHOD

  1. Grind all the ingredients of the chilli paste together using a mini food processor until fine. Heat about a teaspoon of oil in a small frying pan, over medium-high. Stir-fry the chili paste until aromatic, about 3-5 minutes and then transfer to a heatproof bowl. Set aside.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Next, heat up about a tablespoon or two of oil in a large frying pan, or wok, over medium-high. Sauté the garlic until fragrant and golden brown, then add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes altogether.
  4. Add in the Chinese sausage slices and cook until you can smell the aroma coming from the sausages. Then, add in your prawns and cook until they start to change colour, about 5 minutes altogether.
  5. Add in the baby clam meat, followed by a half portion of the beansprouts and give it a quick mix. The add in the rice cake strips, making sure that you untangle the clumps when you’re adding them to the pan, followed by the sauce mix and chilli paste. Give it a good stir and make sure that all the noodles are covered with the sauce.
  6. Turn the heat off, and then mix in the rest of the beansprouts and the spring onions. Serve immediately with or without a sunny side-up egg on top. Enjoy!

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com