Dark pleasures await: your tastebuds will find the bright side in the delicate flavours of this squid-ink pasta dish. Using a "Nero" or black pasta, made with squid ink, enhances this dish both visually and in terms of flavour. Use any regular long pasta if you can't find the black variety. For this recipe, we've used fettuccine, but any long, slender pasta made with squid ink - spaghetti, linguine, tagliolini or bucatini, for instance - would work well. The Rustichella d'Abruzzo brand, often stocked at specialist delis, does a few varieties.
16 scallops, with their roe
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp red chilli flakes
2 tbsp vermouth
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken stock
400g fettuccine nero or other long pasta
freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Carefully remove the roe from the scallops and devein. Reserve the scallops.
2. In a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil on a high heat and pan-fry the roe for about a minute, then add the garlic, chilli and a pinch of sea salt (the roe is naturally salty, so you won't need too much).
3. Continue to fry until the garlic starts to turn golden. Add the vermouth, flambé, then add the chopped tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes.
4. Remove from heat, blend until smooth and pass through a fine strainer.
5. Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to instructions until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and reserve.
6. Heat remaining oil in a frying pan on a high heat and sear scallops to form a golden crust on each side. Remove from heat.
7. Warm the pasta sauce in a large saucepan. Add pepper and check seasoning. Fold through the cooked pasta and parsley. Serve on four large plates and top with seared scallops.