Squid Ink Pasta

Food & Nostalgia 

 

squid ink pastaA relationship with a grandparent is very unique. They’re allowed to impart life lessons, without having to carry all of the burden or responsibilities of a parent, unless of course you were raised by your grandparent.  Both of my parents worked full time during my younger years, so my grandmother took on full parental responsibilities. As a result we have a very close relationship. I spent many summers living with her, sharing a room, and stories. She was my roommate, my best friend, my inspiration, my mom, and my grandma. She was stern with me growing up, but I am who I am today for fear of ever disappointing her.  Parents, want to know how you can get your kids to refrain from drugs and alcohol? Guilt! My grandmother has friends EVERYWHERE!! I never behaved badly, for fear of her ever finding out, and tarnishing how she thought of me.  While kids picked on me at school for being over weight, my grandmother always made me feel special, to her I was always #1.  She is a great cook, and it is because of her that I love to cook so much. Every time I cook, I think of her and our summers together.

My boyfriend often speaks of his grandfather, who sadly passed away a few years ago.  While his grandfather was a tough Italian man, my boyfriend’s fondest memories of him were made in the kitchen.  He loved his Italian cooking, and advice about food.  To take my boyfriend back to that special time, I prepared a dish his grandfather was known for, squid ink pasta.  While he used a squid ink sauce, I used fresh squid ink pasta.  The squid ink gives the pasta it’s dark color and unique shine.  This dish is simple to make, because most of the work has already been done for you.  I found the squid ink pasta at my local Italian market, Marios in Glendale, CA.  Many Italian markets carry specialty pastas with unique flavors.  The squid ink gives the pasta a seafood flavor, so you do not need to add much to the dish.  I added good quality olive oil, graded parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and capers.  I topped the dish with fresh parmiginao-reggiano and plated with prossciutto.  I surprised him when he got home, and he was taken back immediately to times with his grandfather.

Ingredients:

Parmigiano-reginao

Graded parmesan

Jarred capers

Squid ink pasta

Red Pepper Flakes

Olive Oil

Instructions:

Boil water. Add salt, and a drizzle of olive oil to boiling water.  Add pasta, and cook for 8 minutes or until pasta is aldente (has a bite to it)

Drain pasta. Add back to pot. Add olive oil, red pepper flakes, graded parmesan, and mix.

Add pasta to dish. Top with capers, and graded parmigiano.

Enjoy!

Food means many different things to different people, but for most it’s comforting.  Food can work as a time machine, taking you back to a time with loved ones.  I hope you enjoy this dish with your loved ones.

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Pork Chops & Pasta? It Happened

pork chops and pasta

What’s for Dinner?

Sometimes you have to force someone to take a chance, even if it’s just to experiment with food.  We can get so set in our ways when it comes to what we eat.  Visiting the same restaurants, ordering the same dishes, cooking the same meal night after night.  We grow up on certain types of food depending on our cultural backgrounds, then grow up and find other types of foods intimidating.  While the foods you grew up on were amazing, you’ll miss out on some great meals If you never try new things.

My boyfriend’s sister was kind enough to send us a giant package of meat from Omaha steaks for his birthday.  Among the amazing steaks were a few pork chops.  I knew my boyfriend would love them, despite his hate of pork. My mission would be to cook the pork chops in a way where he couldn’t deny their amazing flavor.

I chose to apply my fail-safe marinade to the pork chops, and fix a side of pasta to go with them.  The recipe for these bomb.com pork chops is below.

Ingredients:

Pork Chops (Amount depends on who you’re cooking for. My boyfriend was able to eat 3 in one meal)

Pasta (I used regular spaghetti noodles, you can use any type of noodle you prefer)

Marinade:

Balsamic Vinegar

2 tablespoon Oregano

1 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes

1 tablespoon Pepper

1 tablespoon Garlic Salt

Olive Oil

Pre-Cooking Instructions:

The night before I coated the pork chops in olive oil.  Take a tablespoon of olive oil and rub it into the meat.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: garlic salt, oregano, red pepper flakes, and pepper.

Sprinkle the mixture over the pork chops and pat down compacting the dry ingredients.

put the pork chops into a plastic Ziplock bag, and add the balsamic vinegar.

Put into the refrigerator, and let sit over night.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat your oven to 200 F

Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a sauce pan, and add your pork chops

Place the pork chops into the oven without a lid.

Let cook for 10 minutes then flip the pork chops, and let them cook for another 10 minutes

Take the pan out of the oven and put it on the stove top over high heat.

Cook the pork chops on either side for 1 to five minutes depending how brown you want the outside.

Take a piece of aluminum foil and loosely tent the pan letting the pork sit for 10 minutes

This will save the pork juices, preventing drying.

pork chops in pan

Pasta:

Boil Water

Add salt and teaspoon of olive oil

Add pasta when water comes to a boil

Cook aldente and drain

Remove pork chops from the cooking pan

Do not clean the pan.

Place pan over medium heat, and add pasta.

Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and tablespoon of olive oil

Mix the pasta with the drippings from the pork chops

Cook for five minutes or until mixed.

Plate with pork chops and serve!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe.  Come visit us here at Meeshme.com again soon!