This recipe for Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp & Cherry Tomatoes only looks fancy. It’s easy to make in under 30 minutes and the flavor is delicious!
Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp and Cherry Tomatoes – Don’t you want to just dive right in? I’m overly obsessed with this dish. Those colors, that briny flavor, the little bit of spice…
But the best part of this dish? It’ll be on your table in under 30 minutes.
First thing’s first…
ℹ️ What Does Squid Ink Pasta Taste Like?
Cuttlefish ink is what gives the pasta its gorgeous black color, it also gives it an amazing flavor. Squid ink pasta has a rich, briny flavor with the faint hint of sea saltiness, which makes it absolutely perfect for pairing with seafood.
I’ve found that the fresh squid ink pasta has the most flavor, while the dry pasta flavor is less noticeable.
✔️ Where to Buy Squid Ink Pasta
I have been able to find the black squid ink pasta at Trader Joe’s, Cost Plus World Market, or in some of the local specialty stores. However, if you’re having a difficult time finding it where you are, you can always substitute plain pasta, or order it on Amazon online. You can use squid ink spaghetti or squid ink linguini.
For this black pasta recipe, I made a simple sauce with cherry tomatoes, shrimp, basil, lemon and a pinch of red pepper flakes. I wanted to keep things simple so that the flavor of the pasta could really shine.
🛒 Ingredients Needed
- Squid Ink Pasta – Trader Joe’s and Cost Plus World Market often carry the pasta. Or, you can order it online.
- Shrimp – Choose the size of your choice; shrimp usually come in colossal, jumbo, extra large, large, medium, small, and miniature. I used large (16-20 count) shrimp for this recipe and removed the peel and vein before cooking.
- Olive Oil
- Garlic Cloves
- Tomato Paste
- Cherry Tomatoes – Or, you can add in a 12 oz. can of drained tomatoes.
- White Wine – Or, dry vermouth. Or, you can leave it out if you prefer to not cook with wine. Simply add in a bit more lemon juice.
- Red Pepper Flakes – Optional. Omit if you’re sensitive to heat.
- Lemon – We’ll use the zest and the juice.
- Basil – Fresh is preferred. But you can add in a pinch of dried basil too. Or, add in some fresh parsley.
- Salt + Black Pepper
📋 How to Make It
- Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.
- Meanwhile, make the pasta sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat until hot.
- Cook the garlic until lightly browned and fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the tomato paste and cook until dark red, 1 minute longer.
- Add the tomatoes, wine, water and red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until tomatoes are softened.
- Add and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until light pink and cooked through.
- Add the cooked pasta, butter, lemon zest + juice and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the pasta is coated in the sauce.
- Add the basil, taste again for seasonings and enjoy!
🌟 Tips for Making Squid Ink Pasta
- You’ll have leftover tomato paste if using a can. Put those leftovers into a baggie and stick it in the freezer. Pull it out and thaw it under warm running water whenever you need tomato paste.
- A zester is a super handy tool. Use it for zesting the lemons in this recipe, or for grating cheese or nutmeg.
- If your sauce seems dry, add in more of the reserved pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.
This depends on the size of the shrimp you use, but they likely won’t need to be sauteed for longer than 4 minutes. The large shrimp I used here only took 3-4 minutes to cook.
You’ll know the shrimp are cooked when they turn from gray and translucent to a light pink color.
Yes! However, when using pre-cooked shrimp, you want to cook them for just about 30 seconds so they don’t get overcooked.
Yes! Simply omit the white wine. It will still be delicious without it, though you may want to add in a little extra lemon juice at the end to account for the tartness that the wine would provide.
🕕 How to Make Ahead & Store
This pasta is best eaten right away. However, if you have leftovers, they will keep in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container for a couple days. To reheat, warm gently on the stove or in the microwave.
🍷 Wine Pairings
- Opt for a lively white wine such as an Italian Verdicchio or a Pinot Gris from Oregon.
- A light-bodied, acidic red wine such as a young, slightly chilled Chianti will work well with the tomato sauce in this recipe.
- MORE —> the BEST wines to pair with pasta.
🍽 What to Serve with Seafood Pasta
- Tomato Cucumber Salad
- Sauteed Spinach
- Kale Caesar Salad
- Shaved Fennel and Celery Salad
- Arugula Salad
- Bread – for mopping up all that yummy sauce!
- MORE → EASY sides for pasta
- MORE → the BEST Italian desserts
🍤 More Shrimp Recipes
🍝 More Pasta Recipes
- Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Sausage & Sage
- Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Lemon Pasta
- Sunday Gravy
- Gnocchi with Blue Cheese and Frizzled Prosciutto
Did you try this squid ink pasta recipe?
If you loved this squid ink spaghetti I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
Squid Ink Pasta Recipe
- 12 ounces squid ink pasta
- 1 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic (thinly sliced )
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 10 ounces cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1/3 cup white wine or dry vermouth
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 lemons (zested and juiced )
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1-2 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Add the tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until dark red. Add the cherry tomatoes, white wine, ¼ cup water and red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until tomatoes are softened.
- Cook the pasta to al dente, reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain the pasta.
- While the pasta cooks, add the shrimp to tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until cooked.
- Add the cooked pasta, butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and half the reserved pasta cooking water to the skillet with the shrimp & tomatoes. Cook, stirring frequently, 2-3 minutes, or until the pasta is coated in the sauce; season with salt and pepper to taste. (If the sauce seems dry, add in some of the reserved pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Turn off the heat and stir in half the basil.
- Garnish with remaining basil and serve.
This post was originally published in 2015. It was updated in 2023 to update the content. The recipe remains the same.