I was in Boston this past January for a quick 24-hours to see Lana del Rey. I hadn't been to Boston in nearly 5 years so naturally, I did some quick research and mapped out all the places I wanted to see and eat during my short stay.
I was situated in Charleston, just across the bridge from the North End and right by TD Gardens and if you're unaware, the North End of Boston is Italian central! Oldschool red sauce pasta joints, Italian bakeries (cannolis!) - all mixed between the towering brick buildings. There were only two things I needed to eat in Boston: pasta and seafood. The first place that came up consistently was The Daily Catch up in the North End of Boston and one of the dishes they are known for is their aglio e olio.
Algio e olio is one of the simplest Italian sauces one should know. Olive oil, fresh garlic, a pinch of chili flakes - that's all you need! The version I had at The Daily Catch was just that + ground squid and a sprinkle of Italian flat leaf parsley. The chewiness of the fresh squid ink linguine, fruity olive oil, spiciness from the garlic and chili flakes and brininess from the squid was a match-made in heaven. Just a bit of minced Italian flat leaf parsley was needed to brighten the dish up. It was the single best thing I had eaten on that trip to Boston and I had been dreaming about it since.
Dreaming, salivating...until now.
I have yet to make fresh pasta by myself (someone want to get me the Kitchenaid pasta attachment? It's on my Amazon wishlist!) but luckily, that's what Granville Island is for! Same with the squid - you can easily get the frozen stuff and thaw it out if cleaning raw squid freaks you at as much as it does for me. Everything else you should have in your pantry or is easily attainable at any grocery store. Regular olive oil would be great for heating and a high quality cold-pressed extra virgin oil should be used to finish it. Buon appetito!
AGLIO E OLIO - serves 2
400g squid ink linguine, fresh
1/3 cup olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper chili flakes
2lbs squid, frozen and thawed, pat to dry
italian flat leaf parsley
salt + pepper
In a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook the linguine, about 5-6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a food processor, blend the squid until ground. Pat dry and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once it's hot, add the minced garlic and red pepper chili flakes and saute for one minute until fragrant.
Add the ground squid to the pan and saute until cooked, about 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the squid ink linguine to the pan and toss until well-incorporated. Garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley and serve.