Squid Ink Pasta Carbonara at Valentino

Chef Luciano Pellegrini makes this amazingly rich off-menu dish from scratch, using special Italian pasta flour from Pasini with 10 eggs per kilo of flour and three tablespoons of squid ink. The ink, he says, adds “mild flavor and the richness of the sea.” He then rolls it out, cuts it into thin squares and tosses it with house-cured guanciale (hog jowl) and lobster meat. A sprig of thyme is added, followed by the chef’s carbonara mix (egg yolk, half-and-half and shallots), drizzling it all with extra virgin olive oil before serving. You’ll skip dessert.

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Following the kitchen’s lead, Fox Restaurant Concepts beverage manager Mat Snapp is committed to using house-made syrups and infusions at Culinary Dropout wherever possible. “Everything tastes better when you put time, effort and energy into it,” Snapp says. His original creation, Bells & Whistles, actually had its beginnings in the kitchen, at a barbecue festival’s cocktail competition. “I wanted a cocktail that mirrored all the great things about barbecue: some smokiness, some sweetness and some heat.” Simple syrup infused with charred bell pepper and jalapeño does the trick nicely.

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