Night at the Improv - Squid Ink Pasta

After John and I got back from Bloomington, we had hardly anything to eat in our house. My mom sent us home with a big box of groceries (thanks, Mom!) and so we tried to make dinner out of what we had on hand. We also had about 5 strips of turkey bacon, and a resealable bag of frozen peas that needed to be used up. And so we made this:

Among the box of groceries was a package of squid ink pasta.

The colors in this turned out to be really striking! To me, the flavor wasn't very distinctive (which was fine - I wasn't sure if squid ink would taste all that great). We made a light cream sauce out of 2% milk and romano cheese and this turned into a pretty decent just-got-back-in-town meal.

Improvised Squid Ink Pasta

12 oz pasta
1-2 tbs olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
5-6 strips of turkey bacon
1 cup 1% or 2% milk
2-3 tbs romano or parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Boil pasta water, and cook pasta according to directions. When finished, reserve a cup of the pasta water.
Heat a medium sauce pan and fry bacon until brown. Crumble or slice and set aside.
Add oil to the pan, then add garlic and heat until fragrant. Add peas, milk, and cheese(s). Stir to combine. The sauce will thicken as it heats, but you may also add the pasta water, a tbs at a time, to thicken it. Return the bacon to the pan. Continue to stir as sauce thickens. It will be fairly thin, since it is made with lowfat milk, instead of cream.
Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to combine. Stir in red pepper flakes, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


  1. I ate shark this weekend!

    Okay, so that's not really the same but you ate sea creature funk and I ate a sea creature.

    So it's sort of the same.

  2. That's a pretty cool improv meal, I must say. Well played!

  3. Sara, I'm not sure if I could eat shark without it haunting my dreams.

    Arwen, sometimes the improv leads to me buying a pizza or eating cereal for dinner. But other times, I score!