Sauteed seafood is wonderfully combined with jet-black cannelloni colored with cuttlefish ink. The cannelloni are filled with a mixture of turbot, cream, squid, and basil. Garlic, bell peppers, zucchini, and a little fennel root are sauteed with clams; small squid are sauteed separately and added to the plate for presentation. Chef Christian Morisset says that turbot is a perfect choice for the filling, as the flesh is somewhat glutinous and binds well in the mixture.
- Pasta Dough
- Semolina Flour - 1-1/4 pounds
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Eggs - 5
- Cuttlefish ink - 1 packet
- Turbot fillet - 1, skinned
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/3 cup
- Squid (cuttlefish) - dead portion of one 6- to 6-inch, gutted and cleaned
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Basil leaf - 1 , cut in chiffonade
- Red Bell Pepper - 1, peeled, seeded, and deribbed
- Yellow Bell Pepper - 1, peeled, seeded, and deribbed
- Green Bell Pepper - 1, peeled, seeded, and deribbed
- Zucchini - 1
- Fennel roots - 1/2
- Fresh clams - 16 - 20
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 1/2 cup
- Garlic Cloves - 4, peeled
- Fresh Thyme - 2 sprigs
- Dry white wine - 1 cup
- Tomatoes - 6, peeled, seeded, and diced
- Squid - 1 quart (about 15 - 20) small squid (cuttlefish), drained and cleaned
- Cuttlefish ink - 1 packet
- Basil Sprigs - 4
- Parsley Leaves - 4
- Chives - 4
To make the pasta: In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, eggs, and ink. Take the dough out of the processor and cut into 2 pieces. Wrap each in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
To prepare the filling: Cut the turbot into chunks and season with salt and pepper. Put the turbot and cream in the bowl of a processor and process until it is just pureed; do not process completely smooth. Put the mixture in a bowl and refrigerate. Slit the head of the squid all the way to the top and open it out. Scrape it clean. Cut into a small dice. Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan and saute the squid dice over medium heat until the squid is opaque and slightly firm in texture, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Take the filling out of the refrigerator and fold in the squid dice and basil leaf chiffonade.
To finish the cannelloni: When ready to roll the pasta dough, roll each piece through a pasta machine at least 5 times, folding between each rolling, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Make 2 long thin strips of pasta dough. Use as little flour as possible to preserve the black color.
Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a baking sheet. Unfurl a pasta strip on the plastic and brush with a little olive oil. Trim to square it up. Turn the pasta strip over, oiled side down. Spoon a small log of filling across one short end of the pasta roll. Roll up until the filling is encased, then cut across the dough 1/2-inch away from the roll to separate this cannelloni from the remaining pasta strip. Moisten the edge of the cannelloni and seal to the roll. Set aside. Repeat with both pasta strips and all the filling to make 16 cannelloni.
Place the cannelloni on a rack in a baking pan filled with a little hot water; do not let the cannelloni touch the water. Place the baking pan over heat and cover. Bring the water to a bare simmer over medium-low or low heat. Steam 10 to 12 minutes, until the filling is cooked through. Remove and uncover.
To prepare the shellfish: Cut the peppers, zucchini, and fennel root in very small (less than 1/4 inch) dice, or brunoise. Put the clams in a large saute pan with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, garlic cloves, and thyme. Cook over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the clams begin to open. Add the wine and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the clams are opened. Strain to remove the clams from the pan juices. Discard any unopened clams; take the meat from the opened clams and put it back into the pan juices along with half of the shells. Add the diced vegetables and tomato. Drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and stir in the minced fresh basil. Place over medium-low heat to warm.
Separate the bodies (legs) from the heads of the small squid. Heat the remaining olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Pat the squid dry and add to the pan; toss to keep from sticking. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, until opaque. Remove from heat.
To serve: Stuff the squid bodies back into the heads of the small squid. Place two cannelloni in the center of a warmed serving plate. Place two clam shells on the cannelloni. Spoon one fourth of the vegetable-clam mixture into the shells and around the cannelloni on the plate. Place about 5 small squid around the plate. Repeat with remaining plates. Dot each squid with cuttlefish ink. Garnish each plate with a basil sprig, parsley leaf, and chive.