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.

Black Mushroom Pasta

Pasta Ingredients

  • 6 Shaggy Mane mushrooms, allowed to liquify
  • 3 cups durum flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Directions

    • Mix liquid ingredients in a mixing bowl. I use a stand mixer. Add salt. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time and incorporate into dough. Knead dough for 8-12 minutes. Coat with olive oil and wrap in plastic. Refridgerate for at least 30 minutes, but leaving overnight is fine.
    • Work with small chunks of of dough and LOTS of flour. Regular flour is fine for forming the pasta. I use a Pasta Queen pasta maker that I have befriended. It works for me part of the time. It helps to decrease the pasta thickness slowly, and always coat well with flour on both sides before running your pasta through...that way it won't pull. Let your sheets dry out a bit between cranking them through the pasta machine. If you have 4-6 sheets the timing seems to work out well. For my pasta, I made linguine on both a 5 and a 6 setting.