Squid Ink Tagliatelle with Squid, Tomatoes and Capers

Squid ink tagliatelle is one of those things that just looks great on a plate, primarily because it just seems so unusual. We have this notion that black and grey are the absolute last colours we should ever want our food to have, and in most cases, this is 100% correct. These are not the colours of taste and flavour, but of acrid and putrid. So when we get something that is black AND tasty, now that’s great.

Squid Ink Tagliatelle with Squid and Tomatoes

Now, to make your squid ink tagliatelle, you’re going to need one essential ingredient that probably isn’t just sitting around in your cupboard, squid ink. I’m not suggesting that you go and ….milk?… a squid or anything though. Thankfully you can just go and buy it in either jars or small packets. It can be somewhat expensive, but you can often also find cuttlefish ink. This does the same job but is usually a bit more affordable.

Although it doesn’t have a powerful taste, the sea-like aroma on the squid ink can be pretty pungent when you’re making the pasta. It’s this that can really enhance the flavour of your final dish, especially when you’re eating the pasta with seafood. Besides, the idea of squid ink tagliatelle with bolognese doesn’t really sound too appetising.

So, from the nearly infinite array of glorious seafood that you could pair with your fresh squid ink tagliatelle, what do you choose? I’ve gone for the most obvious answer here, because it makes the most sense, and is pretty easy to get hold of wherever you are. One thing to keep an eye on though is the cooking of the squid. It goes rubbery so fast if you’re not careful, so to combat this I cook it for one minute (yes, that’s all it needs) right at the start, remove it, and then combine with the pasta at the end.

As for other accompaniments, you can go with nearly anything, but I really like a puttanesca-ish type of sauce made with fresh cherry tomatoes, tinned anchovies, capers and confit garlic (or fresh). These cook down in a just a few minutes while the pasta is boiling to the perfect flavoursome sauce for your silky squid ink tagliatelle and the succulent squid.

Squid ink tagliatelle with puttanesca sauce

Squid Ink Tagliatelle with Squid, Tomatoes and Capers
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
50 mins

Squid ink tagliatelle is remarkably easy to make and adds a great extra dimension to any seafood pasta. Here we pair it with an easy squid and puttanesca-inspired sauce for a quick, easy, and tasty dinner. Make the pasta the day before for an even easier time. 

Course: Fish, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 548 kcal
Author: Marbling and Marrow
Squid Ink Tagliatelle
  • 380 g 00 flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 8 g squid or cuttlefish ink
Squid and Puttanesca Sauce
  • 4 whole squid about 100g each
  • 200 g cherry tomates halved
  • 3 tbsp capers
  • 10 anchovies finely chopped
  • 6/3 cloves confit/fresh garlic crushed
  • 2 tbsp olives
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Squid Ink Tagliatelle
  1. Tip the flour onto a large, clean work surface and make a big well in the centre. Add the eggs and the ink into the well. 

  2. Whisk the eggs and ink together and then slowly start to incorporate the flour from around the edges into the eggs, until you’ve made a wet and sticky dough. 

  3. Use a bench scraper to clean off your hands and the work surface, and begin to knead the dough, incorporating any excess flour into the dough. Keep the surface and your hands floured while kneading. 

  4. Keep kneading until the dough has formed a firm and smooth ball, around 5 minutes. If the dough is too wet, slowly add more flour. If it is too dry, add a small amount of water by moistening your hands, and then knead through.

  5. Tightly wrap the dough in cling film and let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature, or put in the fridge to use tomorrow. If refrigerating overnight, remember to allow the dough come up to room temperature before cooking.

  6. To roll the pasta, follow your pasta maker’s instructions, but generally;

  7. Divide the dough into quarters, and flatten enough to be taken by the pasta machine on the widest setting.

  8. Roll the dough through the machine, before lightly flouring and folding in half, and repeating the process four or five more times.

  9. Reduce the setting on the pasta machine by one notch, and pass the dough through. Repeat this until you reach the desired thickness.

  10. To make the tagliatelle, use either the attachment for your pasta machine or cut the dough into strips of around 1cm in width. 

  11. Divide the pasta into individual portions and dust well with flour. Roll up the pasta into nests and lay on floured baking paper. These can be frozen like this, before being removed to a bag and kept for around three weeks. If doing this, make sure to cook the pasta from frozen. 

Squid and Puttanesca Sauce
  1. First, prepare the squid. Pull firmly on the head and tentacles to remove them from the body. Pull the plastic-y quill from the body and discard. Remove the skin from the squid by first pulling on the ‘ears’ and then peeling them and the skin away. Wash the body under the tap. Remove the tentacles from the head by chopping just below the eyes. Remove the beak from the centre of the tentacles. 

  2. Put the knife inside the body and cut outwards to open it up into one sheet. Divide into three pieces, and score the inside very gently in a crosshatch pattern. 

  3. In a medium-hot frying pan heat the oil, and then quickly fry the squid for around 1 minute, until done. Set aside.

  4. Bring a large saucepan of heavily salted water to the boil, and cook the pasta until done; about 2 minutes.

  5. While the pasta is cooking, add the tomatoes, garlic and anchovies into the pan and soften for around 2 minutes. Add the cooked pasta, olives, capers and squid and toss together to finish.

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