Cooking Food

How to Make Squid Ink Pasta?

Squid Ink Pasta With Shrimp

‘A pasta dish a day keeps depression away’ is quite the motto of all pasta lovers out there. There’s no blaming them.

Pasta does make everything better- be it your mood or your stomach’s! Does your mouth also start getting watery just thinking of pasta?

Well, if that’s the case, stay hooked to find out about the squid ink pasta with shrimp recipe for you to cook and give your taste buds a treat!

The need to go to cafes when craving a good, creamy bowl of pasta is no more. So, bring out the chef in you because there is an easy, affordable, and quick recipe for black shrimp pasta that is to die for!

First things first, fill yourself in on some terms related to the recipe before you cook.

What is Squid Ink?

Squid ink or cuttlefish ink is a fluid released by squids or cephalopods in the oceans as a mechanism for their defense.

This ink is edible and has melanin in it from which it gets its black color. It is widely used as a medicine as well as a color and flavor additive in rice and pasta dishes.

Calamarata is a form of thick black pasta which has its origin in Naples. It is pasta dyed in squid ink and resembles a Calamari i.e a squid.

Squid Ink Pasta

Squid ink pasta is believed to be originated in Sicily, the largest island on the Mediterranean Sea, close to the boot of Italy. It is famous in almost every region of Italy.

Furthermore, it has also gained popularity in the Little Italy region of San Francisco, California due to its large Italian immigrant population.

Over the years, this black pasta has become a highly consumed dish in Spain and Japan as well.

What does Squid Ink Pasta Taste Like?

Squid ink is one of the key ingredients of our black squid ink pasta and gives off a subtle briny flavor. The ink is black because of melanin which helps enhance the appeal of the seafood-based delicacy.

When mixed with the dough, it brings an amazing black sheen to it. It smells a lot like sea or sea fish. The taste of the sauce is somewhat similar to soy sauce. The high glutamate (amino acid) content in the ink gives the sauce a savory touch.

The flavor of this pasta is not overpowering and does not smell foul if that is your concern. With a unique fragrance and taste, the essence of squid ink is very subtle.


The storage time of the ink is up to 4 years when kept preserved with sea salt and remains unopened. Once opened, it can be refrigerated but has to be used within 2 weeks, or would go bad. The leftover ink may be frozen if required.

Only a few drops of squid ink are more than enough for a meal if you don’t want to mess up the flavors.

About the Recipe

Everyone loves the recipe for squid ink pasta with shrimp, white wine, and cherry tomatoes.

The perfect blend of white wine and squid ink with a tinge of lemon juice gives the pasta dish a unique flavor that will get you salivating.

It is, without a doubt, your go-to dish whenever you crave a healthy yet tasty meal. Squid pasta goes extremely well with seafood like shrimp and scallops.

Underwritten are the ingredients to be used and the step-by-step procedure to be followed to prepare this Italian cuisine known as ‘spaghetti al nero di seppia’.

If you get stuck anywhere in between, you can refer to the video links attached for clarity. So, why wait? Let’s start with it.


There are only a few ingredients to be used to prepare the black squid pasta, most of which would already be there in your kitchen!

If not, don’t worry. You can buy squid ink pasta and other additives from sites like Trader Joe’s, World Market, and Amazon.

Ingredients for squid ink pasta recipe
Photo by Nati on Pexels

1. For squid Ink Dough

  • All-purpose flour (2 cups for 1 serving)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • Butter

  • Water

  • 1/3 tablespoon squid ink

  • 2 eggs

  • Salt

2. For the Squid Ink White Wine Sauce

  • 1/3 cup white wine

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • Tomato sauce/paste

  • Lemon juice and lemon zest

  • 2-4 cloves of garlic

  • Butter

  • Salt and black pepper

  • Fresh parsley

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • Red pepper flakes

  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Once all these ingredients are brought together, you can proceed with the process. The cooking time required to prepare this pasta recipe is only 30 minutes in total. 


1. How to Prepare the Pasta Dough?

  1. Pour the all-purpose flour on a clean flat surface.

  2. To the flour, add the egg yolks and gently whisk them with a fork. No yolk lumps should be left.

    Pasta dough preparation
    Photo by Klaus Nielsen on Pexels
  3. Add olive oil and butter to the mixture and stir well.

  4. Time to get your hands dirty! Wash your hands with soap, add the squid ink to the mix, and knead it well till a firm black dough ball is obtained.

  5. The dough may seem dry, but you can add more water to make it consistent. Conversely, if it turns out to be too moist, sprinkle more flour on it.

  6. Cover the dough ball with plastic wrap and set aside for 15-20 minutes

  7. The next step is to slice the dough and cut it into the desired pasta shape using a pasta maker machine.

    Alternatively, readymade pasta of choice like squid ink spaghetti, squid ink linguine, or any other like fusilli, penne, shells, etc. can be opted for. For these, you can look in stores like Trader Joe’s or World Market.

  8. Take a large pot with water to boil the pasta and add salt to it.

  9. Put the pasta into the salted water and let it boil for 2 minutes.

  10. Drain out the pasta water after keeping one cup aside. Keep the boiled pasta in a container and let it cool.

2. How to Prepare the White Wine Sauce?

The sauce is the hero of this recipe. You cannot go wrong with the sauce or it will all go downhill.

  1. Place a large skillet with 1/4 cup olive oil in it and heat it on medium flame.

  2. Add garlic cloves to it and stir till they get lightly browned. Don’t burn the garlic! Make sure to keep a check on its color. There is no such concept as “enough garlic” in our kitchen; the more, the better. However, you can add in as much as you want.

  3. Add cherry tomatoes to the pan and pour some white wine into it. The white wine helps give the dish a hint of sauvignon blanc, making it even tastier. The sweet flavor of cherry tomatoes in this pasta makes you fall in love with the dish.

  4. Add some tomato paste or sauce to the pan for stronger flavors.

  5. Add kosher salt and black pepper and stir well. You can also incorporate red and green chili into your sauce if you like heat in your food.

After the sauce is ready, follow these steps:

  1. Defrost and marinate the shrimp with butter beforehand. A pre-marination helps in preserving the tenderness and juiciness of the meat. Don’t worry about the shrimp being stuck on the pan as seafood does not dry out easily.

    Cooking shrimp
    Photo by Daniel Andraski on Pexels
  2. Add the cooked pasta to the white wine sauce along with the pasta water set aside earlier and mix well. The pasta water is added to keep the pasta moist and the sauce flowy.

  3. Transfer the marinaded seafood (shrimp) to the pan, add lemon juice and let it heat for some time. Cook pasta al dente to enjoy it better.

  4. Garnish the pasta with fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest. For a cheesy texture, add some parmesan to the mixture. Seasoning is extremely crucial for an aesthetic presentation and for creating a good flavor combination.

Shrimp Marination Guide 

Marination is an extremely important part of cooking seafood. It helps make the meat tender, moist, and flavorful.

A marinade in acidic substances like lemon juice should be done before cooking, for around half an hour. Whereas, one in oil and herbs should be done for about an hour.

For enhancing the taste of the squid ink pasta, marinating the shrimp carefully is extremely important. Here are the steps to be followed for a perfect marinade-

  1. Defrost the shrimp either in a refrigerator for a day or under cold water for a quicker process.
  2. Clean it properly by cutting out veiny and dirty parts, then wash it with cold water in the end. Remove the shrimp shells as well. 
  3. Marinate it either with lemon juice/lime or oil and herbs and keep it in the refrigerator for the required time. Don’t marinate for longer than needed to avoid mushiness.
  4. Take it out and start cooking. 

It is always good to prepare a side dish for your pasta. Plate the squid pasta well along with a side like a butter crust garlic bread or Bruschetta to wipe up and relish the leftover sauce.

For the drinks, champagne or sparkling water with lemon goes well with some delicious pasta. Always present your main course with complementary side dishes

Alas! Your squid ink shrimp pasta is ready! So simple, isn’t it? Serve immediately while it’s still hot and digs in!

Cooking Tips

Here are some tips to keep in mind while preparing this great recipe for ink squid pasta:

  1. Never overboil the pasta. It should be cooked al dente to avoid mushiness.

  2. Remember to set aside some of the salted water to add later for adjusting the thickness of the sauce.

  3. Vegetable broth and white vinegar are the perfect replacement for white wine if you want to make a non-alcoholic dish. White vinegar adds the desired acidity to the sauce.

  4. Always cook the seafood properly to avoid chewy or undercooked pieces.

  5. Keep stirring occasionally.

  6. Lay off red pepper flakes if you don’t have a spicy tooth.

  7. Ensure that the parsley and lemon juice used is fresh.

  8. It is better to serve immediately after the pasta is ready so that it’s still hot and fresh.

Follow these tips when you cook for a satisfying meal! 

Presentation Tips

Always remember to focus on stunningly presenting your food. This not only makes the dish more appealing but also shows professionalism.

Well, of course, you’re not a contestant in MasterChef, but a little acting never hurt anyone.

Here are some presentation tips for this squid ink pasta recipe-

  1. You can season your pasta with parsley, cheese, oregano, and other toppings of your choice to make it presentable.

  2. It is a good option to garnish your dish with lemon zest as it gives out a vibrant look.

  3. Serve your main course with a side dish and a complimentary drink.

Your food will never be tasted if it doesn’t look appetizing, and you wouldn’t want that. So, focus on these presentation tips and serve beauty on a plate. 

Nutrition Calories

Keeping the calorie count of your meals is extremely important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Squid ink pasta with shrimp is a healthy choice as it contains the right amount of protein and minerals which come from its seafood content.

To make your pasta even healthier, you can add vegetables to it and can go for semolina or wheat pasta instead of the flour-based one.

Squid ink pasta calorie count– Total calories(1 serving) – 200g | Fat – 1g | Carbs – 42g | Protein – 7g

Associated Health Benefits

Squid ink pasta with shrimp – Does it taste good? Yes. Is it healthy? Yes. Does it look appealing? Definitely.

Squid ink contains various nutritional calories which help fight tumors and cancers in the body and thus are considered to be a good immunity booster.

Garlic and cherry tomatoes also help strengthen immunity and protect heart health. You can experiment with the recipe as per your liking and requirement. You can add veggies and different kinds of seafood to make your pasta healthier.

Not only this but squid ink is also known to reduce high blood pressure levels and hypertension. It contains iron, which is beneficial for fighting anemia as well.

The link has various anti-microbial properties which help prevent certain infections and bacteria attacks.

Moreover, the glutamate content in the squid ink sauce is high which helps improve memory and brain health.

Squids are also rich in protein and low on unhealthy calories which makes this black squid ink pasta a great choice of food.

Associated Risks

Eating squid ink pasta carries some risks with it. One can be allergic to seafood or seafood by-products. Thus, eating squid ink or shrimp may cause some allergic reactions.

It is always better to get tested for allergies before eating any type of seafood or food containing its by-products.

Even if one is not allergic to seafood, squid ink must be consumed only in small quantities.

Is Squid Ink Pasta Vegetarian?

No, the recipe given above is non-vegetarian. To prepare vegetarian pasta, you can choose not to pair your pasta with seafood and go for alternatives like mushrooms.

Squid ink is an animal by-product and thus is considered to be vegetarian but not vegan.

Top 5 Squid Ink Pasta Restaurants in Toronto, Ontario

If cooking through such recipes at home isn’t your thing, you can always go out to eat. Check out these top 5 restaurants in Canada to have your favorite pasta-

  1. Joso’s

    Seafood eatery in Toronto since 1967. Joso’s offers one of the best plates of pasta in town. It has a very cozy setting and is beautifully decorated. The food quality at this place is top-notch.

  2. Gusto 101

    Best restaurant for Southern Italian cuisine since 2012. This place also offers a variety of vegan and gluten-free dishes cooked to perfection.

  3. Mezza Notte Trattoria

    Good place for pizza and gnocchi. Homemade squid ink pasta is exceptionally delicious at this restaurant. It is quite a good option to go for on birthdays and gatherings.

  4. Buca

    Owned completely by King Street Food Company, Buca is the one-stop place for flawlessly cooked pasta. The restaurant’s specialty is its unique and quality recipes.

  5. Honey B Hives Restaurant

    Open 24/7 on Fridays and Saturdays and till 3 A.M. on other days. The best place for your midnight cravings. Serves one of the tastiest squid ink pasta.

You have also got to try these 10 most fancy restaurants in Ottawa for the best food and experience. 

The Footnote

Seafood and pasta go hand in hand. The briny flavor and the saltiness of the white wine squid ink sauce are the specialties of this pasta.

The shrimp in particular, topped with butter, adds an appetizing feel to the flavors and makes you love pasta even more.

One of the main ingredients of our pasta recipe is garlic. The dish is incomplete without its garlic content.

Make sure to read the recipe carefully before proceeding, to avoid any mistakes that may ruin your food and force you to start all over again.

Also, don’t forget to enjoy the process because well, why not? Trust us, play your favorite music, dance to it while you cook and you will not feel like getting out of the kitchen!

So, throw on your apron, cook the pasta, and gear yourself for compliments! Hope that now you also love squid ink pasta as much as all do! 



Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

Korean corn dogs

Korean Corn Dogs — How To Prepare And Its 9 Incredible Facts

Korean corn dogs—the name is just enough to make your movie nights spicy and savoury, right? This incredibly delicious and
Banana Pancake Recipe

Best Banana Pancake Recipe: 7 Ways to Make It

Banana Pancakes are one of the all-time favourite delicious recipes for kids and adults, especially for backpackers and travellers. Banana