The witching hour is nigh and now is the time when things take a delectable turn for the terrifying in our test kitchen. This Halloween, delight in a spooky bowlful of squid ink spaghetti tangled with tender squid and tossed with a devilish sauce of spicy harissa, briny preserved lemon and enough garlic to ward off any vampire. A knob of butter added at the end makes the sauce wickedly luscious, while a generous smattering of herby bread crumbs adds freshness and crunch.
Recipe, food styling and photography by Asha Loupy. This recipe was originally published on October 30, 2019
Bring a large pot of abundantly salted water to a boil.
While the water is coming to a boil, make the herby bread crumbs. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the panko bread crumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the toasted bread crumbs to a medium bowl. Add the chopped chives, cilantro and mint and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and set aside.
When the water is at a rolling boil, add the squid ink pasta and cook until al dente, about 8-9 minutes.
While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Wipe out the skillet you used for the bread crumbs and return it to the stove over medium heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add the garlic and sauté until it just starts to turn light golden brown, about 30-45 seconds. Add the squid, increasing the heat to medium high, and cook until it just starts to turn opaque, about one minute. Add the harissa and the preserved lemon and continue to cook until the squid is just cooked through, about another 1-1 1/2 minutes. Turn off the heat and reserve until the pasta is cooked.
To finish the pasta, drain the cooked pasta, reserving one cup of pasta cooking water. Return the saucy squid to high heat and add the cooked pasta and half a cup of pasta cooking water. Toss to combine, if the sauce looks a little too dry, add another splash or two of pasta cooking water. Remove from the heat and add the butter, tossing the pasta to create an emulsified sauce.
To serve, transfer the finished pasta to a platter (or serve right out of the skillet!) and sprinkle half of the herby bread crumbs over the top. Serve the remaining bread crumbs for people to add at the table.