Geek Chef

I cook, I talk, I geek

Black as my soul May 2, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 6:58 pm
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Another candidate for the “scary food” potluck at work was Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia, or pasta with squid in it’s own ink. Shocking, isn’t it? Really tasty too.

For this photo shoot I also used pasta with ink in the dough, which really added to the effect. It is not for the faint of heart but totally worth trying. I got the pasta and ink on, you can also find it at most specialty food stores.

My recipe calls for whole squid, however cleaning whole squid can be scary on it’s own, feel free to buy calamari rings instead. You can get them frozen at most markets.

Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia

1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 packets of squid ink
4 medium sized calamari (squids), cleaned cut into pieces
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Sautee onions in olive oil on a medium setting until soft, add garlic and sautee for a few more minutes. Add calamari, pepper flakes (more or less to liking) and herbs, then wine. Let wine cook down for 5 to 10 minutes, then add tomatoes and ink. Simmer for 30 minutes and serve over pasta with fresh parmesan, asiago or pecorino cheese.


Don’t forget the gravy September 16, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 12:38 pm
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No, not that kind!! I’m talking Ragù Bolognese, the hearty rustic pasta sauce found in Northern Italy.

All regions of Italy have their own version of ‘gravy’, they vary slightly but not by much. I’ll say my Gypsy version uses influences from Bologna to Sicily.

This dish takes a long time to cook, I usually make a large batch and freeze small servings for later.

Ragù Bolognese

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta  parma ham or bacon, roughly chopped
2lbs ground beef or pork (or 1/2 and 1/2)
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 celery stick, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine (or vermouth) or red wine
1 cup milk or heavy cream
1 cup chicken or beef stock
1 8oz can of tomato paste
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook pancetta or bacon until most of the fat is rendered. Pour off most of the  fat and replace it with olive oil.
Add carrot, celery, onion and saute 4 minutes or until onion is translucent and mixture just begins to brown.  Add wine and garlic and cook another until wine has boiled away and vegetables begin to fry again. You will hear them sizzle when the liquid is gone.
Add the meat and chopped herbs,then cook until the meat has browned. Add tomato sauce and stock and reduce heat to low.
Simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for at least 2 hours. Add more stock or water to prevent over drying or sticking if necessary. Before serving, stir in the cream and continue simmering for another 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Garlic and Butter December 19, 2008

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 11:04 am
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Is there anything better?
A while ago I discovered the 99 Ranch Market near my house. This discovery has at least doubled my Asian food output – and input, om nom nom 🙂

Recently they had live crabs on sale for $3 a pound. You can imagine how difficult it was for me NOT to have crab for dinner every night. The other night, I treated myself to roasted crab and garlic noodles and here is the recipe for the noodles:

Garlic Noodles

8 cloves garlic – minced
1 stick of butter
vermicelli style egg noodles (or regular vermicelli) – enough for 4 servings
1 tablespoon oyster sauce

Start the water for the noodles.

Soak the minced garlic in water for a few min while the butter melts in a pot, when the butter is mostly melted drain and throw in the garlic. Let cook slowly for a while, stirring occasionally, until it really starts smelling good, add the oyster sauce and stir until mixed.

Once the pasta is al dente, drain and set aside – pouring some of the pasta water into the garlic butter. Toss in the noodles and season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped cilantro or green onion.