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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Gastronomiche Casa Milo Squid Ink Spaghetti

It doesn't happen often...but it does. I'm actually talking about two different things here.

First, a review of a non-TJ's branded product on our blog. Over 90% of a TJ's is their own house brand so there's plenty to choose from...but there are exceptions.

And kids begging for something for dinner that doesn't involve the words "mac 'n cheese."

By some wizardry and magic, those two worlds coverged upon a single product: Gastronomiche Casa Milo Squid Ink Spaghetti. Available at your local Trader Joe's...maybe. Sandy follows a bunch of TJ's Instragram and Facebook pages and has seen a lot of buzz about this particular black pasta, as well as scores of pictures of empty shelves with the product tag and a sad face.

So apparently it's a big deal, so good enough for a review for me.

I think I get the appeal from my kids' standpoint: It's black! Spaghetti usually isn't! This is new and exciting and kinda spooky! I'm sure there's all sorts of creative Halloween-themed dishes you could make with this to have it be even more fun. Although both kids kinda forgot about it in the couple days between purchase and preparation as they both asked why their noodles were black. I just told them that I burned them.

What about us adults? I tried figuring out the benefits or plusses or anything that made squid ink pasta stand apart from the regular ol' semolina fare (aside from appearance of course) and came up with two things: it has more antioxidants and it tastes a little different. I'm not gonna argue about anything with antioxidants - the less oxidants I have to fight on my own, the better - but different taste? Really?

If anything I was surprised by how similar the squidghetti tasted to the usual. It took a few slow, careful, plain bites to discern a small difference, and even then I'm not sure it wasn't a case of me trying too hard. Really, for all intents and purposes, at least to me, it tastes the same, especially when adding garlic and EVOO and shrimp like we did.

Worth a try? Sure. Will it change your pasta-pounding world? Probably not. If you want a dark colored pasta that's truly different, here's another option. But I'm not intimidated by squid ink spaghetti anymore, at the very least, so perhaps I can be a little fancier if I ever see it on a menu somewhere. 'Til then, this will be in our occasional rotation I'm sure for the two or three bucks a package.

Bottom line: Gastronomiche Casa Milo Squid Ink Spaghetti: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons 


  1. Confused by this sentence:

    "it tastes the same, especially when addi;ng garlic and EVOO and shrimp like we did."

  2. @Unknown, I think the author meant that this squid ink spaghetti and regular semolina spaghetti both tasted very similar when dressed with EVOO, shrimp and garlic. When prepared in the same manner, not much distinguished this unique squid ink pasta in taste from the stand-in semolina variety.

  3. I am excited to try this. I love squid ink pasta - have made it once, purchased fresh from Chicago Eataly and dried in a Caputos. A couple of stores near me used to sell the Al Dente brand but they no longer carry the squid ink so imagine my joy when I saw it at Trader Joes. I will have to report back but I am hoping it tastes as good as the others I have tried.


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