Something Different: Squid Ink Pasta

Homemade squid ink pastaFresh pasta just feels like luxury to me. I LOVE it. I love homemade gnocchi, colorful pasta (like this ravioli) and flavored pasta (like spinach and beet). If you've never had fresh pasta before I highly recommend making some at home or finding a restaurant in your neck of the woods that makes their own.Squid ink pastaThis pasta falls under the category of something just a little bit different or maybe full-on weird to some of you. 😉 I first had squid ink pasta while on a trip to New York with my mom and Elsie. It just sounded exotic. I ordered feeling like I was either going to love it or totally regret not getting something safe like risotto. And I loved it! Seriously. And ever since then I've been dreaming of making my own. How to make squid ink pastaSquid ink can be used for cookingI didn't know if I'd be able to find squid ink at any of my local grocery stores, so I bought some online. The ink I used is actually cuttlefish ink. Cuttlefish aren't actually squids, but they are in the same family as squids. And I had read that their ink is actually a dark brown, but it looked pretty black to me. :) How to make fresh pasta Squid Ink Pasta, makes three to four servings. 

2 cups all purpose flour (or "00" flour if you can find it)
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk (room temperature eggs work best, but cold is ok too)
1/2 tablespoon squid (or cuttlefish) ink
2 tablespoons warm water
a pinch of salt

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt. Use the back of your measuring cup to create a well in the center. In a small bowl stir together the ink and water until well combined. The ink may be quite thick and you want it to evenly disperse within the entire dough. Into the center of your flour well pour the eggs, egg yolk and ink water. Use a fork to mix until a crumbly dough forms. Use your clean hands to knead the dough until it becomes somewhat smooth and elastic feeling (about 8 minutes). 

Some people like to do this process on a clean counter (instead of in a bowl). I find that the bowl helps to contain the mess and gives me a way to keep the liquid from running in the beginning. But you do as you like. 🙂How to make fresh pastaCover the dough ball in plastic wrap and allow to rest for an hour on the counter. You can make pasta dough the evening before you want to use it and store it, wrapped, in the refrigerator. Just be sure to give it plenty of time (at least one hour) to sit out on the counter to return to room temperature before shapping.Homemade squid ink pasta  Now use a pasta roller or other pasta making machine to flatten the dough and cut into your desired shape. I use Kitchen Aid attachments to make pasta at home. I described my process in this post. Only for this recipe I decided to make angel hair pasta rather than fettuccine. How to make squid ink pasta Fresh pasta will cook slightly faster than dry pasta. I cooked this in boiling, salted water for about six and half minutes. 

For the sauce I simply combined three tablespoons olive oil with two tablespoons fresh lemon juice. While the pasta is still quite hot (just after draining) I tossed it with a few cubed tablespoons of butter, then the lemon olive oil and then I sprinkled on salt and pepper. Top with shredded parmesan cheese. You could easily use any kind of sauce you prefer, like tomato or pesto.Squid ink pasta As you can see I made two batches of fresh pasta, one plain and one with squid ink. I think they look pretty together. 🙂 In case you are curious about the taste of inky pasta the truth is that it's a lot more added color than flavor. The ink taste is savory and subtle. Try it. Happy kitchen experiments! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman

  • haha FUN!
    my boyfriend spearfishes, so we always have fresh fish, crab, octopus and squid at home (and lobster, if he gets lucky).
    next time he brings squid, i’ll try this on!

  • Love it! when we have the squid pasta it gets called beetlejuice pasta :)i have never made it before just bought it. it looks so easy i cant wait to give it a go.


  • I love the black and white party idea to go with….you are so creative and brave! You’ve delved into areas I haven’t yet tried and I’m quite a foodie. I love your food segments along with everything else, especially the app!

  • That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of!!! I had no idea this even existed!! I think I’d be scared to make it so next time I’m in NYC I’ll have to give it a whirl! =)

  • Fresh pasta is the best!
    I’ve never tried squid ink though.. might give it a go.

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  • Where I live, there is a restaurant which serve great squid ink pasta with a sauce made with giant shrimp, cognac and cream. to die for!

  • It’s quite common here, in Spain. We use squid ink in rice and pasta, mostly.

    This pasta tastes great with some oil, peper flakes and garlic. Add some schrimps and it’ll become awesome 😀

  • hi!
    here in Italy we cook squid ink pasta with a sauce made of tomatoes and roasted octopus.
    greetings from Italy

  • I’ve been silent follower for over a year now but this is the first time I comment…. but I had to! I live at Adriatic cost (little country called Croatia) and I just wanted to let you know that cuttlefish has more intense coloring than squids. We use it to make black risotto (combined with peaces of cuttlefish and maybe some sea shells). That is most common specialty in most of our restaurants. Some restaurants also use it for coloring corn flour.


  • Squid Ink pasta just looks so fun! The ultimate conversation starter.
    Bella x

  • I don’t want to be rude, but I thought this was worth mentioning. Squid ink is stored in a sack within the squid, and they are killed to obtain it. Vegetarians may want to skip this recipe!

  • So unique, I have never heard of squid ink pasta before! This would be good with some actual fried squid on top (like calamari mmmm)!

  • I’ve had cuttlefish before. It tasted pretty much the same as calamari to me! Now I wonder who woke up one day and decided to try putting squid ink into pasta…?

  • This is so weird and cool. I’d use it for halloween decorations too 🙂

  • The pasta sounds really interesting but what really got me here was the lemon sauce you whipped up. That sounds so good!

  • I made squid ink pasta once, years ago, and did not like it at all. Ah well, that just shows that tastes differ, right?

  • Amazing! I have had squid ink pasta sauce – a completly black meal! it was unreal.


  • I’ve never heard of Squid Ink Pasta, but it sure does look like something I’d have to try at least once! 😉

  • Ya know, I’ve heard about Squid Ink Pasta, but I’ve never tried it. I’m super curious though! I will definitely be trying this out. Thanks for the recipe.

  • I really want to try this sometime. Looks so cool! xx

  • So funny that you posted this today! I was just watching an old episode of Chopped with a friend last night and the secret indgredient was squid ink. We wondered a lot about what it would taste like and the only thing we had ever heard that involved squid ink was squid-ink pasta! I definitely want to try this now (hey, it was a sign, right?!)


  • Yes, it does! But it’s probably a lot more subtle than you would guess from the color. Honestly, it’s hard to describe as I’ve never tasted anything quite like it. It is savory, I’ll say that. Anyone else want to describe what ink tastes like in pastas you’ve had???


  • Yes, yes. Could be very Night Circus inspired. Have you ever heard of that book? It’s got a lot of black and white.


  • interesting recipe — would be a really cool dish for Halloween! xo

  • Love this! I love the color the ink adds to the meal! So darn fun!

  • I used to love squid ink pasta with red sauce with fish from this one gorgeous restaurant on Long Island. Not sure if it even still exists, but a wonderful memory triggered by this post!

  • Step 1 get a pasta press/cutter something of that nature, Step 2: Get squid ink Step 3: Throw a party where people dress in Black and White and serve this pasta!


  • I love how adventurous you are with tastes, and that I get to read about it. I used to make spinach pasta, and loved the taste, even though it never looked like pasta is supposed to look. I recall an Adventuress column in old Domino mag, and you would make a great food Adventuress.

  • Looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it out. My latest adventure in cooking: making crostini with caramelized onions, gorgonzola, thyme and homemade fig jam.

  • Looks delicious! I will definitely have to try it out. My latest adventure in cooking: Crostini with caramelized onions, gorgonzola, thyme and homemade fig jam.

  • So nice! 😉
    I’ve never eaten such a pasta 😉

  • i hate to say that i was in venice this past september and was not able to try squid ink pasta! i guess i will just have to make it myself 🙂

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

  • I don’t think I’ve ever tried squid ink pasta but the contrast looks so cool!

  • We must try to do pasta! It seems easy but we are so bad for cuisine…

  • I also had my first squid ink pasta in NY, back in October! I wonder if we went to the same place?? I was on a trip with two of my girlfriends and they thought I was nuts for trying it 🙂 I just sent one of them this post to say, “See? I’m not the only one!” haha

  • I remember my first squid|cuttlefish ink pasta. It came in a package that my brother-in-law send us everytime he travels and this one came from Italy. Wanting to taste the pasta, I made it only with oil and parmesan….wow. A revelation.
    Can you imagine the guy’s face when he checked the contents of your package at UPS??? lol

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.