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Rossejat Negro

Squid-ink pasta with allioli is a Catalan specialty.

Rossejar means “to toast,” and that’s the first step in these paella-like noodle dishes. Noodles are not commonly found in Spanish cuisine, but they form the basis of this Catalan specialty. Very fine noodles—Spanish fideos or broken vermicelli or angel hair all work—are browned in oil before simmering later. Not only do the noodles develop a richer taste, but they also hold an al dente texture even after a long simmer.

While noodles are unique to Catalonia, the combination of squid with its ink is found all over the country. Squid ink is available at specialty stores and is a must here. Its flavor is subtle, but tastes purely of the ocean. Once you buy that ingredient, the whole meal comes together quickly. It’s ideal with a glass of white Garnacha from Catalonia’s Mediterranean coast.

Excerpted from the book CÚRATEby Katie Button with Genevieve Ko. Copyright © 2016 by Katie Button with Genevieve Ko. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Evan Sung.

Ingredients

Makes 8 servings
  • 4 T plus 2 t extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb angel-hair pasta, broken into 1-inch-long pieces
  • 1 lb squid tubes and tentacles, tentacles cut in half, tubes cut into ¼-inch rings, patted very dry
  • + kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped (¼ C)
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 4 C Seafood Stock, or store-bought unsalted seafood stock, heated
  • 2 t squid ink
  • ½ t pimentón (sweet smoked paprika)
  • + allioli, for serving

Seafood Stock

  • 1 T blended oil
  • 1 small fresh tomato, cored and coarsely chopped
  • ½ large carrot, coarsely chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 lb fish bones, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 sprig flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
  • 5 black peppercorns

Allioli

  • 1 large egg
  • 1–2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1¼ t fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 C blended oil

Preparation

The Stock

Seafood Stock
  • 1 T blended oil
  • 1 small fresh tomato, cored and coarsely chopped
  • ½ large carrot, coarsely chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 lb fish bones, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 sprig flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
  • 5 black peppercorns
  1. Combine the oil, tomato, carrot, pepper, and garlic in a large saucepan. Stir well and set over medium-high heat. When the vegetables start to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato has broken down and is starting to caramelize on the bottom of the pan, about 13 minutes. Add the fish bones, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, and 5 cups water. The liquid should just cover the fish bones. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a bare simmer, and simmer for 1 hour.

  2. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a sauce pot, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. You should have 4 cups stock. You want it to be really hot when you add it to the noodles, so keep it over low heat.

Allioli

Allioli
  • 1 large egg
  • 1–2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1¼ t fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 C blended oil

Combine the egg, garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Turn the machine on, and pour a little of the oil through the slow-drip feed tube. Add the remaining oil and process until it’s all emulsified into the mixture.

*To make by hand, push the garlic through a garlic press, then whisk with the lemon juice, salt, and egg. Whisk in the oil a drop at a time to ensure an emulsification that doesn’t break.

The allioli can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

The Noodles

Ingredients
  • 4 T plus 2 t extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb angel-hair pasta, broken into 1-inch-long pieces
  • 1 lb squid tubes and tentacles, tentacles cut in half, tubes cut into ¼-inch rings, patted very dry
  • + kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped (¼ C)
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 4 C Seafood Stock, or store-bought unsalted seafood stock, heated
  • 2 t squid ink
  • ½ t pimentón (sweet smoked paprika)
  • + allioli, for serving
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 16-inch paella pan, or cast-iron pan, over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the noodles and immediately stir to evenly coat the noodles with the oil before they start browning. Continue cooking, stirring and tossing frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Alternatively, toss the noodles with 2 tablespoons oil and spread in a half-sheet pan. Bake in a 350°F oven, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. It’s a matter of whether you’d rather scrape the noodles out of the paella pan or turn on the oven. Both techniques work well.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the paella pan, and reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the squid and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, turning and tossing, until starting to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons oil, and reduce the heat to medium. Add the minced garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent and soft, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes turn a dark brick red and start to stick to the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in the noodles, then the hot stock, squid ink, smoked paprika, and 2 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir well and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring continuously. Spread the noodles in an even layer. Now, don’t touch it. You want to cook the noodles until they’re just tender and stick to the bottom of the pan and make a “snap, crackle, and pop” noise, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve with the allioli.