Squid Ink Spaghetti with Mussels

Squid Ink Spaghetti with Mussels

We are finally beginning to see some winter thaw and spring-like weather here. It only just started this past weekend. Although the night time and early morning temperatures are still below freezing, the day time temperatures are now above freezing. The sun is out and the snow piles are getting smaller. Hopefully they will all disappear soon.

Since we have been having a lot of stews and slow cooker dishes in the past weeks, we were in the mood for some pasta with the slightly “warmer” weather. Not too long ago, I did mention that Ro-Ri San had purchased a variety of pasta home from his recent trip to Rome. So far, I have only used one pack of the pasta for this Garganelli alla Arrabiatta dish. It is now time to use another pack for today’s recipe.

Squid Ink Spaghetti with Mussels

This Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia or squid ink spaghetti was the very first one Ro-Ri San purchased. He made a really good choice as the pasta was extruded with the traditional bronze dies. These dies give the pasta a rough textured surface that appears whitish and allows the sauce to “cling” to the pasta when cooked. Most other kinds of pasta are extruded using teflon and nylon dies, giving them a smooth sheen.

Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia
Bronze die extruded spaghetti

I have been wanting to replicate the dish that Ro-Ri San had in Rome as it looked so delicious. I figured the squid ink spaghetti would combine well with mussels. Initially, I was a little unsure about the color as I did not want the mussels to be camouflaged in the mix. After boiling the spaghetti, thankfully the color did turn a lighter shade and contrasted nicely with the mussels. Best of all was its wonderful texture – tender yet firm. It held the sauce beautifully, making it very tasty. I was really impressed!

Spaghetti with Mussels

This recipe for Squid Ink Spaghetti with Mussels was inspired by Mario Batali’s Spaghetti with Mussels (Spaghetti con le Cozze) at epicurious.com. I added some grape tomatoes for a pop of color.

Squid Ink Spaghetti with Mussels
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 lb (450g) squid ink or regular spaghetti
  • ¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb (450g) mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
  • 12 grape tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
  1. Boil spaghetti in lightly salted water until al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes or according to packaging instructions.
  2. In a large pan, heat olive oil. Cook garlic and red pepper flakes for about a minute over medium heat. Pour in wine and bring it to a boil.
  3. Add mussels, cover pan with a lid, and allow mussels to cook until they open. This should take about 5 minutes. Discard any that do not open.
  4. Drain pasta, reserving ¼ cup (60ml) liquid. Add pasta, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and reserved liquid to the pan. Toss to coat pasta with sauce.
  5. Stir in parsley. Turn off heat and dish onto plates.
  6. Serve immediately.

Squid Ink Spaghetti with Mussels

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎


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  1. Jeanne says

    Hi Biren :)
    This is a great alternative way to eat mussels. I once went to a black & white themed dinner and on the menu were risotto and potatoe purée blackened with squid ink. It put me off at first but tasted very nice and it was fun as it blackens the tongue for a few minutes has everyone giggling.
    I’m glad to see you didn’t suggest sprinkling parmeson here as Italiens tell me its never sprinkled on seafood dishes.
    Cheers Biren!

    • Biren says

      Thankfully this dried squid ink pasta does not blacken one’s tongue. It has a nice greyish color and a subtle flavor. Yes, I have heard that cheese is not used with seafood dishes. I guess there are always exception to the rule as in shrimp pizza etc. :)

  2. August Pamplona says

    It’s funny that they sell the pasta with the squid already in it! I did not know that this product existed!

    We like to use squid ink in Spanish cooking too. It’s fairly typical to cook squid in its ink (you can even buy it canned that way). Another typical dish (from Valencia) is arròs negre.


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