Don’t panic. Open your mind.
This pasta is indeed black.
Does it make you feel better if I tell you that it’s not dyed with artificial colors?
How about if I tell you that it’s colored with squid ink?
(…still there? I promise it doesn’t taste like squid!)
I was invited to a Halloween party on Sunday evening (prime time for partying if you’re a musician), and guests were encouraged to bring main or side dishes. One of the hostesses is a killer cake decorator and I knew she was making something, so I steered clear of dessert. By the way, her cupcakes were equally adorable and yummy!
Anyway, seeing as how most of my Halloween food ideas are sweets, I turned to Epicurious for inspiration since they’ve always got great party ideas. Sure enough, the first dish I found was called Black and Orange Halloween Pasta. SOLD.
And guess what? Not only does it look very festive, it tastes good! You can’t really go wrong with roasted veggies, fresh herbs, and pasta. In my rush to get out the door (chopping up vegetables took forever!), I forgot to add the red pepper flakes. In fact, I didn’t even remember that they were supposed to be there until I got home and saw the still-open recipe on my computer. I’m sure they’d make this even tastier though, especially if you like a little kick!
Black and Orange Halloween Pasta
adapted from Gourmet
Where can you find black noodles? I found the last pack (and half off!) at Central Market (Texas store). However, in the comments at Epicurious, I read that Target’s Archer Farms brand also makes the stuff and that it’s about $3. I was tempted to buy some orange pasta that was near the black, but didn’t think I needed to make that much, and didn’t feel like spending $7 just on pasta. The two orange-y options that I saw (same brand) were red chili pepper and sesame.
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
2 orange bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used an orange and a green)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (forgot these!)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or enough to coat your veggies and noodles
1 pound black linguine or spaghetti (squid or cuttlefish ink pasta)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped (I left mine whole!)
Preheat oven to 425F with a rack in the middle. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash, peppers, and garlic with the olive oil, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Spread out evenly and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.
Towards the end of the roasting, cook your pasta according to the package’s instructions. After I drained the pasta, I poured in a little olive oil to coat it since some of the comments said it was too dry. Once the vegetables are ready, toss them and the olives with the pasta and serve!
Makes about 6 main course servings.
I almost tagged this post as vegetarian, but I guess that depends on whether or not you think eating something with squid ink is veggie-friendly. :) (I eat fish, so it wasn’t an issue for me!)