Welcome to The Hot Dish, a behind the scenes look at the making of the dishes of the moment.
[All photographs by Nick Solares]
"Watch the tomato sauce disappear into the squid ink," says Bobby Flay, as he prepares his seafood fettuccine at Gato. He shakes the pan vigorously, and sure enough the large dollop of bright red tomato sauce he has just placed over the pool of squid ink completely disappears into the black abyss. The squid ink is the base of the dish that also features carabinero prawns, supposedly named because the color of the shells matched the uniforms of Spanish customs police. Flay says they are his favorite ingredient.
Gato is in many ways a continuation of the exploration of Spanish cooking that Flay embarked on at the now shuttered Bolo. But at Gato he has broadened his scope to encompass a more pan-Mediterranean vision. He cooked a risotto with squid ink at Bolo and sees the fettuccine on the Gato menu as the next version of that dish.
The updated dish combines freshly made fettuccine with the viscous black ink that is tempered with a mussel stock and a tomato sauce laced with Calabrian chiles. The dish is loaded with squid tentacles, rings of calamari, mussels, and the head-on prawns.
Watch Flay cook with the blackness.