Squid Ink Pasta Recipe
I love pasta, it is my go-to comfort food. I love it in soup, smothered in a variety of pasta sauces, and served simply with butter and salt.
If it wasn’t for my grandmother, I probably wouldn’t have known that fresh pasta was a thing or how amazing it tastes. Whenever the family got together, we would be treated to a hearty bowl of chicken and noodles. What made the dish so special is that it was filled to the brim with homemade egg noodles. The rustic noodles were deliciously chewy and flavorful, and the dish remains one of the defining memories of my grandparents. So, I’ve always had an amazing relationship with pasta. It was only a matter of time before I started making the fresh stuff on a regular basis.
I use both an electric pasta machine and a hand crank pasta machine. The electric machine is great for making shapes. Fresh rigatoni anyone? But the manual pasta machine is where you get to experiment with a wide variety of flavors and colors. I love making a classic egg pasta, but the time has come to explore recipes beyond my comfort zone.
Enter squid ink pasta. The whole idea was slightly intimidating, where does one get squid ink and if you can find it, do you use liquid or powdered ink? Once the pasta dough was made and cooked, what did I prepare with the noodles? What tastes best with squid ink and would I even like it? So many questions and they wouldn’t be answered until I actually made the noodles.
For my first foray into the world of strange and unusual ingredients. I went to Amazon and guess what? Amazon had squid ink, of course Amazon carries squid ink! I wasn’t quite prepared for the possibility that Amazon would not have squid ink, so the crisis was averted on the very first step. Feeling somewhat more confident now that I had squid ink in my possession, it was time to find a recipe. This perhaps should have been the first step, because there are a truly amazing number of squid ink pasta recipes out there and it only made me want to make this recipe even more.
Most of the recipes used liquid ink, whereas I had the powdered form. Not a huge problem, I just experimented a little and wrote down the version that was the easiest. That’s pretty much the point of this endeavor, so I gathered a few likely recipes and double checked the ingredient measures and got to work.
I only used 2 tbsp for the recipe, if the flavor isn’t intense enough for your tastes try the liquid form or add more of the powder.
Squid Ink Pasta Dough:
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup semolina flour
Generous pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp squid ink powder
2-3 tbsp water, if the dough is too dry
In a large bowl, mix the two flours together and add the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour.
In a separate bowl add the eggs and squid ink. Mix so the ink is well combined with the eggs, this helps prevent the color from streaking in your dough. Add the egg mixture to the well and slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs. If the dough is too dry when you try to knead it, add water a tbsp at a time so it holds together.
As you knead the dough you will get a gorgeous ball of black dough that has a nice briny smell. Let the dough rest for 2 hours.
Divide the dough into pieces and run each piece through your pasta machine. Start at the widest setting and work your way down to thinner sheets. Once your sheet is at the desired thinness, cut into fettucine or spaghetti noodles.
Bring your water to a boil and cook the noodles for 3-5 minutes. Fresh pasta cooks much quicker than dried pasta, be careful not to overcook it! Drain and serve with sauce of your choice.
I chose to serve the noodles in a shrimp and crab tomato-based sauce. The simple sauce complimented the pasta and allowed the shrimp and crab flavors to shine.
1 cup reserved pasta water
½ cup chicken stock
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups imitation crab meat, shredded
1 cup cooked shrimp, chopped
8-16 oz marinara sauce
8 oz canned, diced tomatoes
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Sauté minced garlic in olive oil. When the garlic is fragrant, add stock, marinara and tomatoes. If you like a saucy pasta add more of the marinara, if you don’t a lot of sauce, add less marinara. Stir and simmer for 15-20 minutes. (In the first picture, you can see that I opted for a less saucy pasta)
If the pasta sauce is too thick, add the pasta water a few tablespoons at a time, until it reaches desired consistency. The starchy pasta water will thin the sauce and make it easier for the sauce to bind with the noodles.
In the last 2-3 minutes of cooking add the shrimp, crab and red pepper flakes. When it’s heated through add the cooked pasta. Toss to coat the pasta.
Serve immediately with fresh parmesan cheese and enjoy!
- Jackie Miller