Sautéed Octopus Over Squid Ink Pasta
Don’t care for or can’t find the octopus? You can sub 1 pound squid (cleaned, bodies cut into 1 / 4-inch wide rings, tentacles left whole) or 1 pound shelled and deveined shrimp. If using shrimp, cook them for just 3 minutes. Look for squid ink pasta at gourmet stores or some Italian markets; it can also be found online.
• Heat a large stockpot of well-salted water to a boil; add 1 pound squid ink linguine. Cook until al dente; drain.
• Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 small onion, finely chopped. Cook until beginning to soften.
• Add 1 or 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced; cook, 1 minute.
• Pour in 1 cup dry white wine; cook, stirring up any bits stuck to the bottom, until reduced by half.
• Add 1 pound baby octopus, cleaned, bodies left whole, and 1 can (28 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes, drained, coarsely chopped; heat to a simmer. Turn the heat to low; simmer until the octopus is tender, 20-25 minutes.
• Season with red pepper flakes and salt to taste, if needed. Toss with the drained pasta and serve.
Makes 4 servings
A recipe from the new Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking (Knopf, $35) by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich.
• In a large bowl, toss together 1 pound brine-cured unpitted olives, the julienned zest and juice of 1 large orange, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 1 / 2 teaspoon ground fennel seed, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
• Pack the olives into a glass jar; marinate in the refrigerator, 3-4 days.
• Remove the garlic; serve. Olives will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Black sesame seed ice cream
Author Ying Chang Compestine includes this recipe in her book, Cooking With an Asian Accent (Knopf, $29.99), which is slated for publication in January.
• Toast 1 cup black sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, 3-5 minutes. (You may need to toast them in batches.)
• Put seeds in a blender with 2 cups soy creamer or heavy cream, 1 cup vanilla soy milk, 1 cup creamed hazelnut honey or regular honey. Blend on high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
• Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Serve garnished with fresh mint leaves.
Makes 6 servings
Fried black rice
In Sylvia’s Table (Knopf, $35), author Liz Neumark calls for a 50-50 mix of two types of rice: black and either Carolina Gold or brown rice. Our Halloween adaptation uses all black rice. The dish originated with chef Bill Telepan of Telepan restaurant in Manhattan.
• Steam 1 bunch asparagus over simmering water in a covered saucepan until just tender, 5-7 minutes. Remove asparagus from the steamer so that it doesn’t overcook; set aside.
• Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add 2 beaten eggs; scramble until cooked through, 4-5 minutes.
• Chop the eggs up with a spatula; set the pan aside.
• Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced; cook, 1 minute.
• Add 2 cups cold, cooked black rice and 1/2 cup cooked peas; cook, stirring, 1 minute.
• Add 1/4 cup vegetable stock; cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
• Season with salt to taste; stir in the cooked eggs.
• Divide the rice among four warm bowls or plates; top with the asparagus.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Canned lower-sodium black beans speed up this recipe from Cooking Light’s Lighten Up, America! (Oxmoor, $29.95) by Allison Fishman Task. For better flavor and texture, you can use dried beans that you’ve soaked and cooked in place of the canned product. Serve the beans as is, topped with a dollop of sour cream and minced cilantro, or roll up in warm black tortillas with some grated Monterey Jack cheese and tomatillo salsa.
• Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
• Add 1 cup chopped onion and 3/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.
• Stir in 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
• Stir in 1 cup water and 2 cans (15 ounces each) 50 percent-less-sodium black beans, undrained (or use 2 cups cooked beans plus some of the bean cooking water).
• Heat to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring frequently, until slightly thick, 30 minutes.
• Remove from heat; stir in 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar.
Makes 6 servings