Squid ink pasta is an incredibly dark, slightly briny delicacy from the sea. It's about ten times the price of regular pasta. Squid ink is hard to find here in the mountains, but we have options. In late fall the Inky Cap or Shaggy Mane (coprinus comatus) mushroom bursts through grass and gravel. Those delicate mushrooms have surprising strength! Their lifespan is incredibly short, and sometimes the walk from the end of our driveway to the house is even too much for them. They immediately start to liquify from the bottom of the cap up, until nothing remains but a smooth snow-white stalk and a pile of ink. That's how this species spreads their spores! If I can find brand new Shaggy Manes they are delicious stuffed or scrambled in eggs, but I hate to let the aging ones go to waste. I had been wanting to try this recipe for a year!
Gather about 6 Shaggy Manes. Remember, ALWAYS pick with an experienced mushroom forager! Wash them thoroughly, this type of mushroom loves dirt and you want to get all the dirt and sand out. Place them in a bowl in the refrigerator. The fridge will not slow down the liquification. Let them sit for 24-48 hours. Your mushrooms should be replaced with a pile of black ink, with a few remaining mushroom pieces and (inevitably) some grit in the bottom. You can siphon off the liquid or run it through a very fine cheesecloth.