Squid Ink Spaghetti


500 Pasta Dishes

Published by Sellers Publishing

This image courtesy of Ian Garlick

It is not always possible to buy fresh squid that have been left uncleaned, with their ink sacs intact. However, you can buy squid ink separately, in a jar; it has a deeply fishy flavor and a wonderful dark glow. Ask your fishmonger for advice.


Cooking Methodsauteeing


Total Timeunder 2 hours

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Taste and Texturesalty, savory

Type of Dishpasta


  • 1¼ lbs extremely fresh squid, uncleaned
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp. concentrated tomato puree
  • Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 14 oz. spaghetti
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Clean the squid: Carefully separate the heads with the tentacles from the body sacs, then remove and discard all the innards, setting aside the ink sacs (be careful not to break them). Wash all the squid well under cold water, dice the heads, and chop the tentacles. Open the ink sacs carefully and drip the ink into a small bowl. Fry the garlic and oil together in a large skillet for about 5 minutes over a medium heat, without letting it brown. Add the squid, parsley, and plenty of black pepper. Cover and simmer over a very low heat for 20 minutes, adding a little water if necessary When tender, mix the tomato puree into the white wine and add it to the pan with ½ cup hot water and simmer, covered for another 20 minutes.

  2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Put the tagliatelle into the water and stir thoroughly. Replace the lid and return to the boil. Remove or adjust the lid once the water is boiling again. Cook according to the packet instructions until al dente. Stir the squid ink into the squid, adding as much of the ink as you wish. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the cooked squid. Toss everything together, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.

  3. Variations

  4. spicy squid ink spaghetti

  5. To add a little fire, add a couple of dried red chiles to the oil with the garlic, and discard when you discard the chiles.

  6. squid ink spaghetti with herbs et lemon

  7. Use a mixture of fresh summer herbs instead of simply using parsley, and a sprinkling of lemon zest in the sauce to give the dish a fresher taste.

  8. squid ink spaghetti with shrimp

  9. Stir 4 tablespoons of small cooked shrimp into the sauce before adding the ink, warm through and then proceed as main recipe.


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