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Sauce ideas, and/or accoutrements for squid ink pasta

I've enjoyed squid ink risotto with grilled squid, prawns, and asparagus, but am unsure what preparation to use for the pasta. Might it be overly briny to use a fresh uni sauce as follows?

1 pound pasta
1/4 cup cream
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper
8 ounces fresh sea urchin (uni)
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tablespoons finely chopped chives

Your suggestions appreciated.

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  1. Perhaps a simple sauce aglio et olio garnished with sauteed squid, and asparagus?

    1. I would leave out the cheese and garlic as those flavors will overpower your seafood. Simple is better.

      1. oh, an uni sauce is not suited to this pasta, as much as i ADORE it.

        simple is better, just some olive oil/butter, garlic, fresh parsley. a bit of crushed red pepper too. you could add white beans and/or an assertive green like arugula or dandelion.

        5 Replies
        1. re: hotoynoodle

          Not sure that I agree with this although the OP's recipe seems a bit too rich for my tastes. The squid ink pasta with uni sauce, crab and chiles at Balena in Chicago is a glorious combination.

          1. re: KateBChi

            does it have cream and cheese though? i guess that's what i'm not liking about the op's combo.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              The cream, and cheese is minimal. Share your recipe please.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                I'm not sure of the exact ingredients for the uni sauce but if it contains cream or cheese I'd be mildly surprised. My guess is uni, butter, shellfish stock, some kind of dried chile (Aleppo maybe) and possibly piment d'espelette. It could have a drop of cream and some kind of acid, lemon or ?

            2. re: hotoynoodle

              Like the arugula idea. Thanks hotoynoodle!

            3. I think squid ink pasta pairs beautifully with any shellfish, like shrimp or scallops, but I'm not a fan of adding cheese to it. I like a recipe from lemonsandanchovies.com that dresses up a squid ink with shrimp dish by adding white truffle oil.

              1 Reply
              1. re: teezeetoo

                Hmmm...I totally have truffle oil in my pantry. Just trying to conceptualize the flavors together. Would certainly be intriguing! Thanks for the suggestion.

              2. For my personal preference, I'd say skip the cream, parmigiano, and most of the uni. Use some clams and the squid you'll get the ink from.

                Saute a smashed clove of garlic and a pinch of peperoncino in olive oil until the garlic just starts to golden. Discard the garlic.
                Toss in cut squid and saute with a sprig of thyme until almost cooked.
                Add a small shot of white wine, then in go your clams. Cover to steam and until the clams just open and release their juices.
                Uncover and remove clams from their shells and add them back to the pan. Remove the thyme sprig.
                Add the squid ink to the pan with a ladle of the pasta cooking water and mix until black (if you want to be "cheffy", you can toss in some cubes of cold butter at this point to make it glossy and thicken)
                Toss in pasta that's almost cooked through and finish in the pan.
                Serve coiled with a tongue of uni on top and a pinch of fresh finely chopped parsley.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Novelli

                  MOST DEFINITELY to the Monter au beurre! :). Like the addition of fresh thyme, and clams too. Thanks.