Chef Gareth Stewart shares a pasta dish inspired by lauded LA chef, Nancy Silverton.

You can find some of the best food in the world in Los Angeles. The produce is amazing, thanks to the Californian climate, and the restaurant scene is innovative, vibrant and reflects the melting pot of nationalities and cultures.

It makes it a great place to visit to research restaurants and dishes, and when I go I eat rich food for breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day. It's a First World problem, I know, but it's actually not easy.

One of my favourite restaurants in Los Angeles is Osteria Mozza on Melrose Avenue. It's an Italian restaurant run by a legend of the American restaurant industry, Nancy Silverton. It has been awarded Michelin stars and has a whole menu dedicated to mozzarella, ricotta and burrata cheeses. It had been on my wishlist for years before I finally had a meal there on a scorching hot day in 2012.

Advertisement
Gareth Stewart was delightfully surprised to try chilled squid ink pasta in LA. Photo / Supplied
Gareth Stewart was delightfully surprised to try chilled squid ink pasta in LA. Photo / Supplied

That meal was so sensational; every single dish was memorable. But the squid ink linguine was the most surprising. it inspired me to create a squid ink dish that's on the menu at Euro.

The pasta came with spanner crab and sea urchin (kina), chilli and cilantro (coriander) and was served chilled. Cold pasta isn't something you ever see, but the chilli gave the dish heat and the freshness of the coriander and fresh citrus made it summery and fresh. The crab and kina were sweet. I washed it down with a crisp sauvignon blanc - true food heaven.

• Gareth Stewart is a chef and head of restaurant group Nourish Group

Squid ink linguine, crab, lime, jalapeno and kina

(Feeds 4 adults)

400g squid ink linguine
400g spanner crab meat (raw)
1 clove minced garlic
2 jalapeno peppers
120g extra virgin olive oil
2 fresh lime juice and zest
2 Tbsp chopped coriander
12 tongues of fresh kina (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Squid ink pasta

500g pasta flour 00
50g egg yolk
160g whole egg
10g olive oil
25g squid ink

Chef's tip: You'll find squid ink at Sabato, specialty Italian stores and Farro.

Gareth Stewart's squid ink linguine, crab, lime, jalapeno and kina. Photo / Supplied
Gareth Stewart's squid ink linguine, crab, lime, jalapeno and kina. Photo / Supplied

Mix the eggs with the squid ink then incorporate into the flour. Knead for 5 minutes then wrap in cling wrap.

Roll the pasta into sheets, around 25-30cm in length and dust with plenty of flour before using the linguine attachment in a pasta maker to cut it.

As the linguine comes out of the cutter, dust with flour and keep straight. Allow it to dry while you cook the crab.

To cook the pasta, prepare a large pot of water to boil, with salt added.

In another large pot add all the olive oil and heat until medium hot.

Add the garlic and sliced jalapeno, followed quickly by the crab.

At this point you should drop the linguine into the boiling salted water and cook for approximately one to one-and-a-half minutes.

At the same time add the raw crab meat to the garlic and chilli and stir for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat from under the crab as it will cook quickly and you do not want to over cook it.

Strain the pasta and reserve one to two cups of the water for finishing.

Add the cooked linguine to the crab followed by the lime zest and juice and season with salt and pepper. Add some of the pasta water to loosen along with more olive oil so that it looks saucy and not dry.

Allow this to chill naturally and place in the fridge for an hour only.

Once cool, add the fresh coriander and re-season. You may need to add more salt as it chills.

Using a meat fork or tongs, wind the pasta into nests and plate.

Finish the dish, if you like with fresh, raw kina.