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It’s that dreaded week: V-day week, and while everyone is posting tons of red and pink, I am going dark, very dark, as in squid ink and black garlic dark. Maybe it’s a metaphor for how I feel about this holiday, but also because I really do love squid ink pasta. It’s so exotic and the taste is so interesting. It’s salty and rich all at once and the pasta is always so tender. It’s also a good way to impress people: your date, your neighbors, your friends, your mailman, your doorman, your garbage collector. What I’m trying to say here is that this can impress anyone in your life, not that you have to. I make this for myself when I just want a nice dinner that makes it seem like I’m taking myself out on a date in my jammies in front of the television, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I would rather sit at home by myself than be on a horrible date with someone and trying to fake a laugh or a smile. And trust me, me faking a smile is the worst. I always look like I’m in pain, and it’s exhausting. Thank goodness for Netflix, wine, my furry baby, and this lovely pasta dish! It’s all I need to survive this crazy holiday.

I’ve always loved squid ink anything. My mom used to make squid stewed in ink and vinegar with lots of garlic. It was always such a treat. My love for this exotic flavor grew when I discovered it in pasta. I mean, I love anything pasta as it is, but when you add the ink, it makes this salty, ocean-like flavor that works really well with any kind of shellfish. The addition of the sweet, salty, and tangy black garlic along with the anchovies in this dish is such an explosion of flavors that just balances each other so well, it’s like a party in my mouth!

So whether you’re dining alone, with your fur babies, your babes or your friends, you should try making this dish, crack open a bottle of vino, and spread the love!

Note: You can be daring and make your own squid ink pasta. I use this recipe here. It’s hard to find places that sell squid ink, but you can order it online. I just happen to be very lucky and have a local Italian market that does carry it. However, they also make their own fresh pastas, so this time around, I got lazy and bought them freshly made.

photos by Maria Kennedy

(click here for Full Grocery List)

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves black (fermented) garlic
A pinch of red pepper flakes
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 anchovies in oil, plus a ½ teaspoon of the anchovy oil
4 large shiitake mushrooms, chopped
2 medium size Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
Zest of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon
¼ cup white wine
1 tablespoon butter
½ pound langostino tails
Black pepper
Fresh parsley
6 ounces squid ink pasta


  1. In a medium to large pot, cook the pasta in salted boiling water. Note that fresh pasta cooks fast so keep an eye on it until it is aldente. Drain the pasta but save about 2 tablespoon of the pasta water. Set aside.
  2. In a medium pan, add the olive oil and anchovy oil, black garlic and red pepper flakes. Slowly heat the oil over low heat.
  3. Add the shallots and anchovy and let it simmer in the oil for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3-5 minutes then add the tomatoes, the lemon zest, lemon juice and the wine. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Then add the butter, and once the butter is melted, add the langostino tails and cook for about 3 minutes.
  6. Quickly remove from heat and add the pasta and mix well. Add black pepper to taste and chopped fresh parsley.



black (fermented) garlic
1 shallot
4 large shiitake mushrooms
2 medium size Roma tomatoes
1 lemon
Fresh parsley
red pepper flakes
1 can of anchovies in oil
white wine
½ pound langostino tails
6 ounces squid ink pasta