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Vegan Squid Ink Pasta Is Way Easier Than You'd Think

squid ink pasta on black plate
squid ink pasta on black plate - Anna Puzatykh/Getty Images

If you follow a vegan diet, there's a good chance you've never indulged in squid ink pasta before. The defining trait of this dish is its black color, which as its name suggests, comes from the dark ink secreted by a squid. Typically the pasta is also paired with seafood such as shrimp and scallops, making it far from vegan-friendly.

While it may seem impossible to create a vegan version of this pasta, it's actually way easier than you'd think and it doesn't require any food coloring or ingredients that are hard to find at a grocery store. As it turns out, dried black beans can be turned into noodles that pretty closely resemble squid ink pasta. The process is a lot like making chickpea pasta dough, which comes together with chickpea flour or finely ground dried chickpeas. Simply find your favorite vegan chickpea pasta recipe and substitute the dried chickpeas for dried black beans.

Read more: What These Imitation Foods Are Actually Made Of

Getting The Flavor Right

lifting squid ink pasta with fork
lifting squid ink pasta with fork - R.H. Guas/Shutterstock

Putting black beans in pasta dough may make it look like squid ink pasta in color, but it won't be the same in taste. Squid ink pasta has a distinct, savory flavor reminiscent of seafood. Black beans meanwhile have a relatively neutral flavor and therefore result in a more bland pasta. However, since they have such a mild flavor, they can easily take on the flavors of whatever seasonings you add to them.

One of the best ways to give vegan dishes a seafood-like flavor is to incorporate dried seaweed, dulse flakes (a red sea vegetable similar to seaweed), or kelp flakes. You can either grind this up with the dried black beans before turning it into pasta or laminate strips of dried seaweed into the rolled-out dough. Combined with the color of the black beans, either method should leave you with a meal that both tastes and looks like squid ink pasta.

What To Serve With Vegan Squid Ink Pasta

squid ink pasta on rectangular plate
squid ink pasta on rectangular plate - Kankitti Chupayoong/Shutterstock

This dish may often be served with seafood, but like any other pasta, it isn't complete without a sauce. Many recipes featuring squid ink pasta combine it with sauce reminiscent of the kind used in shrimp scampi — a completely vegan combination of white wine, lemons, parsley, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes. Because there's so much flavor in both the sauce and the pasta itself, you don't technically need to serve any sort of protein in your vegan squid ink pasta.

If you prefer to transform your meal into a heartier dish, you can always use common vegan-friendly calamari alternatives like king oyster mushrooms or heart of palm. Then, to compensate for the absence of seafood flavor, you can further enhance the dish with additional seaweed. Pulverizing seaweed and incorporating it into the sauce can provide a delicious seasoning boost. This will ensure your squid ink pasta is satisfying and flavorful, yet remains fully vegan.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.