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10 May 2012

Mediterranean Black Linguine and the Republic of San Marino

As I promised, here is the post about the Republic of San Marino. The pictures, like the rest of the old ones I had been posting the past days, are taken by my old reliable Lumix point and shoot.  Those were the days when I'd rather click fast with a handy camera while my husband handled the bigger DSLR.  

Soon after that, we switched cameras when I discovered that my life was too easy with a point and shoot and I decided to give myself a harder time in taking pictures. The complexities of handling a heavier camera with so many buttons was just my thing and giving my shoulders the extra heavy weight gave me an odd satisfaction.  Not to mention that I always fall behind from my family because of the need to change lenses every meter. Of course I'm kidding. But I do love the feeling of holding that camera in my hands and presenting anything that I find of interest through my lens.  

I had been writing about San Marino and I should at least write something about this recipe. The pasta was a product of my food shopping in a regional market in Rome.  There were a lot of stalls of regional products by small producers and there was a particular stall that attracted my attention and wallet. Yes, I got a lot from that happy lady!  But I am happy with my purchases too. Where else can I get flavored pasta?  One of these packages is this black ink squid linguine that I used in this recipe. 

I liked it because it didn't stain anything especially my teeth and lips. You don't need a bib to eat it. In short, no one on the table looked like a monster with black mouth!  We all love the linguine al nero di seppia (cuttlefish black ink) that I usually cook but it never made me sit still and enjoy the food because eating becomes a game of hit and miss.  

Here is a recipe that is purely and simply Mediterranean in character.  Mediterranean diet has always been and will always be good for our health. It's one of the reasons why UNESCO's World Heritage classified it as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.  

I have written about the connection of the Republic of San Marino to its neighboring hilltop town, San Leo in my previous post, so we know that the founders were lifelong friends who fled to Monte Titano during the Diocletanic Persecution. Monte Titano is where San Marino built a small church and founded what is now the city and state of San Marino. The official date of foundation of the Republic is 3 September 301.  San Leo, on the other hand moved to nearby Monte Feltro to build his own church and lead a monastic life.  

A community was formed by mid-5th century and because of the inaccessibility of is location and poverty, it remained independent. In 1253, San Marino declared itself a republic but it was only recognized by the Pope as an independent state in 1631.

It's the third smallest country in Europe, with Vatican City and Monaco preceding it.  It is not a member of the European Union but it is allowed to use the Euro currency.  It has no level ground, just hilly terrain.  It is divided into nine municipalities called castelli (castles). If you want to know more about this beautiful country, you can refer to Wikipedia where I got most of this information.

Like the town of San Leo, it also joined the list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.  For this reason alone, you can understand that it's a place to visit. 

I hope you learned a thing or two about this small country inside Italy. Thank you for reading!

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Mediterranean Black Linguine 

Serves 2
  • 200 g. black linguine (or regular pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, soaked in water and chopped
  • 8 green olives, chopped
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 garlic, crushed
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  1. Boil water for the pasta.  When the water boils, add salt.  Add the pasta and cook according to the cooking time suggested in the package.
  2. In the meantime, sautè the garlic in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil.  When the garlic turns golden, discard it.  
  3. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and toss in the oil for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the olives & capers.  Toss altogether for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked pasta to the saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water you used for cooking the pasta.  
  6. Sprinkle the chopped basil and drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil.
  7. Serve hot.


  1. The black linguine makes a striking presentation - I've never tried a dish or pasta with squid ink.

    1. It's worth a try Laura! You may like it. Thanks!

  2. So interesting - I am always learning about new culinary items through your posts!

  3. I brought our DSLR with us on our last big trip, but it was such a pain. I just left it in the car all the time. It's so much easier to get a good picture with the Lumix! But I suppose I should learn to use it properly and then I could get some nice pictures.

    Your pictures are beautiful, point and shoot or not. I've never heard of black linguine but it definitely looks interesting.

    And San Marino is beautiful! You're lucky to get to explore so much. :)

    1. Hi Erin. It is annoying to lug around a big camera, I agree. I just don;t get the satisfaction of holding a point and shoot anymore. Sometimes I wish a DSLR is not so heavy and bulky. The black linguine is not so common in the supermarkets. You can get them at some specialty shops. You can try cooking the real one though, using the black ink sauce. It's delicious but messy! Thanks for the nice comment!

  4. I was going to keep my Lumix point and shoot when my husband bought a DSLR. But then immediately it broke! We decided to just use a DSLR for everything (landscape, kids, food of course)...and it turned out that we have much less pictures of everything (besides food), because it's so hard to take good pictures and super heavy! I think I need to learn how to use it soon... What a delicious looking black linguine and beautiful photograph!


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