When it comes to pasta, black is the new black. Chefs are crafting noir noodles that are picture-worthy and totally toothsome. Here are 9 black pastas to add a dramatic air to your dinner.
Birch & Barley, Washington, D.C.
Squid ink darkens a tangle of spaghettini. The dusky threads are tossed with Applewood- smoked uni, clams, leeks, and chilies. Savory, spicy, smoky, and briny. Make a reservation at Birch & Barley.
High Street on Hudson, New York, New York
Stained with squid ink and scented with Espelette pepper, the mafaldine is designed to make a bold first impression. The spicy squiggles are dressed with a sauce powered by smoked mussel liquor and sofrito. Pickled jalapeños, breadcrumbs, and fresh herbs finish it off. Make a reservation at High Street on Hudson.
Bar Mezzana, Boston, Massachusetts
A tubular twirl of squid ink spaghetti makes for an arresting presentation. The shadowy tangle hides bits of salami, squid, and clams. It’s topped off with breadcrumbs for crunch and lemon zest for levity. Make a reservation at Bar Mezzana.
Bar Primi, New York, New York
Ruffled cones of campanelle pasta have an obsidian look, thanks to a squirt of squid ink. They’re tossed with crab, garlic crema, and red rounds of Fresno chili. The perfect cure-all for a chilly autumn evening. Make a reservation at Bar Primi.
Bencotto, San Diego, California
Knuckles of squid ink-dyed gnocchi are lavished with an extravagant lobster bisque sauce. To complete the presentation, the tender dumplings are tossed with shrimp. Don’t call us shellfish if we don’t want to share it. Make a reservation at Bencotto.
Leuca, Brooklyn, New York
My odds are stacked; I’ll go back to black. Especially if we’re talking about these sable shells. The curvaceous pasta is tossed with ruby shrimp and calamari to add rich oceanic flavors. Make a reservation at Leuca.
Andiamo Ristorante, Austin, Texas
Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia has nothing to do with the crazed Roman ruler. It’s squid ink spaghetti sautéed with clams in garlic white wine sauce. Definitely fit for royalty though. Make a reservation at Andiamo Ristorante.
Maypop, New Orleans, Louisiana
The Mekong meets the Mississippi. Call it double the Delta. Squid ink bucatini gets dressed up with charred oysters, curls of bacon, and torn bits of spicy lime leaf. Make a reservation at Maypop.
Cooks & Captains, Brooklyn, New York
A mound of squid ink spaghetti takes a starring role in this satiating dish. The hillock hides green onion crema, preserved tomatoes, and braised octopus. #TastyTentacles. Make a reservation at Cooks & Captains.
Let us know where you’ve been dining on black pastas this season here or over on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.
Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credits: Scott Suchman (Birch & Barley); Erin Jackson (Bencotto); Andiamo Ristorante (Andiamo Ristorante); Andrea Merrill (Bar Mezanna); Noah Fecks (Leuca and Bar Primi); Chaucee Stillman (High Street on Hudson).