You know how it is - husband pops into Lidl, spies black squid ink pasta for sale and comes home with a bagful as 'something interesting for the girls'. The girls, Hannah, 5, and three-year-old Rosie were, respectively, dubious and fascinated.
The pasta, meanwhile, sat in the cupboard for a week or two, daring me to think of something to cook with it.
Recipe books seem to err on the side of a seafood sauce, suggesting things like clams, prawns or, appropriately, squid. Unfortunately such delicacies are not thick on the ground on the Preselis! But then I was in my local Spar which happily stocks lovely veggies from the local biodynamic farm, Plas Dwbl, and there was a lovely carton of yellow egg tomatoes and a bag of mixed differently sized cherry tomatoes, with a couple of the yellow ones thrown in for good luck. How could I resist!
We had some of these jewel-like delights for lunch tossed around in a little olive oil in a frying pan then popped into a sandwich with smoked bacon and crusty granary bread.
But I couldn't resist them at tea time either and the black tagliatelle sort of jumped out of the cupboard at me. So I cooked this:
Black tagliatelle with tomatoes, garlic and olives
- Set the oven to Gas mark 6-7, and put a good handful of mixed cherry and yellow tomatoes into a roasting tin. Cut up some of the bigger tomatoes, the rest can be left whole.
- Roughly chop one garlic clove per person, and a couple of shallots or red onions too. Add a few glugs of good olive oil, stir and put in the oven.
- Meanwhile cook the black tagliatelle, a nest or two person according to greed, in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.
- Chop a nice big handful of parsley, preferably the broad-leaved type.
- When the tomatoes are blistering and soft, add a handful of green olives per person to the roasting tin, swirl it around and put back into the oven until the olives are heated through.
- Drain the pasta, reserving a few tablespoonfuls of the cooking water, then toss the tomatoey contents of the roasting tin and the parsley into the hot pasta. Add some of the cooking water to loosen up the lovely tasty sauce.
- Pile into dishes and top with freshly grated Parmesan and ground black pepper.