Black Spaghetti with Shrimp and Chorizo

My mom recently came back from a three week trip to Spain. The trip was to chaperone a school trip, but she was luckily able to spend a lot of time with a lot of family friends who live in Madrid. Her friend Nieves sent her back with, among other things, a package of squid ink dried spaghetti.

My only experience with squid ink in pasta was the amazing squid ink spaghetti dish with sopresatta, rock shrimp, and jalapeno pesto that I had at Babbo last year. I’m a huge fan of any pork and shellfish combination, and clearly love spicy food, so this dish was practically made for me. We found the actual recipe posted in Babbo’s recipe archives.

We used the recipe as a guide using what we had available. Since we don’t have Mario Batali’s means to buy fresh rock shrimp, we used medium sized regular shrimp from our trusty fish monger. We also had some spicy, cured Spanish chorizo that we used in place of the sopresatta.

We were honestly in awe of how well this dish turned out. The pasta itself was very midly fishy, as if there were just a touch of fish stock in the sauce. The jalapeno pesto was a little harsh on its own, but mellowed out nicely when it was briefly fried in olive oil and tossed with the hot pasta. With the addition of the sweet shrimp and the spicy, instense chorizo, it was just perfect.

Black Spaghetti with Shrimp and Chorizo
Adapted from Mario Batali’s Recipe

1 lb. black spaghetti
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
6 oz. fresh shrimp
1 c. sliced cured chorizo
4 tbsp. jalapeno pesto (see recipe below)
1 c. scallions (green parts only)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta until just barely al dente. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until just cooked through. Remove the shrimp and set aside.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic and chorizo.

When the garlic is toasted (but be careful not to burn it), add the jalapeno pesto and the cooked shrimp.

Drain the pasta and add it to the pan. Toss it with the sauce and cook for a minute or so longer until the pasta is al dente.

Jalapeno Pesto

3 c. jalapeno peppers, roughly chopped
½ c. sliced almonds
½ c. red onions, chopped
½ c. extra virgin olive oil

Puree all of the ingredients in a food processor.

It doesn’t look pretty, but I promise it’s good!

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