Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Nero di Seppia
by SuSu, Wraith6, Sakim
Much to Padmé's surprise, Anakin not only knew what seppia was, but he said he actually liked it, having had it since childhood. He was sensitive about his early life as a slave, and so she never asked him about how a slave in a dry, hot planet got access to this watery creature. But on her staff was JarJar Binks, who had been in the Tatooine markets when Anakin was discovered by Qui-gon Jinn. The Gungan had told her about a squid-like animal with tentacles that was offered for sale by the merchants; they'd been grown in the relatively moist sewers beneath Mos Espa!
She didn't want to think about what the squiddy animals fed on in those damp sewers; quite frankly, she didn't want to deal with cleaning them anyway!
Padmé did love a particular dish that used the ink of the squid as well as the bodies, making for a brown or sometimes startling black sauce. She wanted her husband to try it too, ut her relationship with Anakin was against so many rules, they'd decided not to be seen together in public. This meant that if she wanted to share this meal with her secret husband, she needed to make it herself or get someone she trusted to make it for her!
So, it fell to the 'droids to do the shopping and cooking for their mistress and master. Perhaps the fishmonger who dealt with the order for the ink of the squid did wonder what it was being used for. But seppia is the name for a brownish-black ink used in old-style printing ... perhaps the fishmonger simply thought the Naboo-born senator was trying to create a unique tablescape?
Heat the oil in a pot and toss in the whole, cracked garlic. Poach gently without browning the garlic. When it starts to color slightly, add the chopped squid, the parsley, and black pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for 40 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. The squid will become tender. If the liquid level is low, add a little water as needed.
Add in the tomato paste and white wine, and stir to combine. Simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes. The sauce should have a thickened sauce-like (but slightly thinner) appearance. Season to taste with salt, as needed. Turn off the heat, and stir in the reserved squid ink.
Boil the spaghetti till it's slightly underdone. Reserve a bit of the pasta water, then drain the pasta, and add to the squid sauce while hot. Toss to combine; if it seems too dry, add a bit of pasta water to loosen up the mixture. You'll notice the solid bits tend to the fall to the bottom be sure to scoop it onto every serving.
Serves 4 as a main course, or 6 to 8 as an appetizer.
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