So, a few days ago, a friend of mine gave me a gift.
It was wrapped in clear wrap, nestled in one of those little foam trays that wrapped things from the fresh grocer come in.
It was a black mound of ... something.
I stared at it.
There was a label on it, but without my over 50 reading specs on, I couldn't quite make out the writing on the label.
"It's squid ink pasta," she said as she watched my face for a reaction.
"Oh" (See, I'm really good at witty conversation.)
"It's squid ink pasta from an amazing Italian grocery and you HAVE to post about it and let us know how it was."
Oh, no. I guide students through squid dissections each year. I know squid intimately inside and out ... it's not pretty in there ... and the ink sac ... it's full of dark crumbly goo.
And what was it one of those food guys said ... something about cooking in bitter pungent squid ink. Didn't I wrinkle my nose in disgust at that episode ... was it Zimmern or Bordain ... not sure, but EATING SQUID INK?
And now, I had been gifted ... and challenged to share the results!
I thanked my new/old friend, we've known each other for a long time, but we had just met.
Lucky for me, my old college roommate Dave was in for the weekend and Dave will eat anything. He just spent a year in China eating scorpions and such, so I knew he'd have a good plan for this molluscan macaroni.
And I was right.
I showed Dave the black lump and he came up with a plan ... Shrimp and Squid Ink Pasta in a Genovese Pesto Sauce.
We hit the grocery store for some ingredients and liquid courage and got to cookin'.
Eventually, it was done and the moment of truth had arrived. The dish was plated, the diners were forked, and all that was left was to dig in.
I was really expecting a strong fishy taste, but I WAS WRONG ... WONDERFULLY ... GLORIOUSLY WRONG!
It was great! It tasted like normal very fresh pasta with the only clue to a Cephalopodic origin being the inky black color.
I even had seconds.