Carbonara you may have heard of, but have you heard of Ika-sumi? Ika-sumi (Squid Ink) is the Japanese term. I haven't seen it elsewhere other than Japanese Fusion restaurant but then I'm really not into pasta, so that might be why. Nero di seppia is the Italian term for squid ink.
Pasta is really not one of my favorite food unless it's extremely well done. Recently in Singapore, there is a chain restaurants (Japanese origin) which served pasta really well. Waraku is the name of the chain and we were told by the staff that their spaghetti are imported from Japan, including its sauce. They are packed individually and precooked in Japan. It's truly delicious & I got hooked on its Squid ink spaghetti. Ika-sumi is the name and it's totally black in color. After eating them, do remember to clean your teeth before going out and chat to anyone in the open! ;-)
Not only is Ika-sumi spaghetti different in color, they taste different than normal spaghetti too. Very interesting and I love its texture. Waraku also has some other delicious spaghetti like those cooked with clams. What I like about Waraku's pasta is that the sauce is light and yet delicious; unlike those traditional tomato based sauce which I'm not very fond of as they made me feel full easily. Waraku's pasta are of a different story though. Very nice!
I just checked on Waraku website and found that it has now opened its first outlet in L.A. Well, if anyone of you have tried it, do write a review of it here on Lunch! The address? 18508 GALE AVE SUITE A CITY of INDUSTRY, CA 91748
Recipe for Spaghetti with Squid Ink (nero di seppia) (from About.com) Prep time: 30 mins Cooking time: 90 mins
1 tablespoon tomato paste diluted in a little water, or 3 tablespoons tomato sauce
A small bunch parsley, minced
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Begin by cleaning the squid: carefully separate the heads with their tentacles, then remove the guts, setting aside the ink sacks (be careful not to break them). Wash the squid well under cold water, dice the bodies, and chop the tentacles.
Open the ink sacks and collect the ink in a small bowl.
Heat the oil in a pot and wilt the garlic without letting it brown. Add the squid, the minced parsley, and a generous dusting of freshly ground pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 45 mins, checking every now & then to make sure it's not sticking (if it does add a little hot water). Once it has simmered, mix the tomato sauce or paste with the white wine and add it to the pot. Simmer for 20 mins more, uncovered, then dilute the sauce with a little hot water & simmer for a half hour more, covered. At this point the sauce should be neither soupy nor too dry.
Half an hour before mealtime bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, salt them, and add the pasta. At the same time stir the squid ink into the sauce, adding the amount that suits your taste. Drain the pasta, season it with sauce, and serve. The wine? The remainder of the white you used in cooking it.
Spaghetti is a long, thin, cylindrical pasta of Italian origin. A variety of pasta dishes are based on it, from spaghetti with cheese and pepper or garlic and oil to a spaghetti with tomato, meat, and other sauces. Spaghetti is made of semolina or flour and water. Italian dried spaghetti is made from durum wheat semolina, but outside of Italy it may be made with other kinds of flour.