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?
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For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and Facebook.
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.
140 thoughts on “EASY Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp & Cherry Tomatoes”
I had squid ink pasta for the first time in Venice when we were there a few years ago — I fell in love with it, but have had a hard time finding where I live. Love how you kept this so simple – the flavors sound delicious and it’s just beautiful to look at! PS Jealous about Amazon local — wish we had it here in NC!
I’m SO excited about this pasta AND Amazon Local – Hopefully it will be more widely available soon 🙂 So jealous about your trip to Venice – I would absolutely LOVE to go there someday – Bucket list!
OMG delicious. My husband had 3 helpings. I just dropped the butter by 2 tablespoons and it did not affect the flavor used strozzapreti black in pasta. It looked fabulous. Thank you a keeper.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Maria- Thanks for the feedback on the butter!
Love the beautiful contrast of colors with the shrimp here, and great tip on how to use the leftover tomato paste!
Thanks Pech! Tomato paste is cheap, but it’s nice to store leftovers in the freezer, because you never know when a recipe will call for it!
Squid ink linguine sounds fascinating!!! I need to buy some and try it!
Yes Susannah – Yes you do! It’s delicious!!!
Love the gorgeous pops of color in this dish! I haven’t made squid ink linguini but will have to try it at home now.
Thank you Marlynn! I was thinking it’d be appropriate for Halloween with all the black and orange!
I admit I’ve always been a little nervous about trying squid ink pasta. But this looks and sounds so good that I might try to get over my fear and do it!
Just do it Erin! I dare you 😉
we were in Sardinia just a week ago and found squid rice and pasta, it was so yummy, had to keep going back to the restaurant to have more. Delicious, now that we just got back we are already looking to cook it.
I’m obsessed with it too!!! Love squid ink anything – especially black rice dishes!
Looks delish! I love squid ink pasta, it’s such a unique flavor.
Isn’t it great Chloe! I love the color too!
This looks so interesting and tasty! Yum!
Thank you Rachel!
Hello! I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog this afternoon! I live in San Francisco but I travel up to the PNW every week, so I love finding “local” bloggers. This recipe looks DELICIOUS – so many good flavors going on!!
Thanks Dani – That sounds like a lot of traveling, but I’m sure that you get to go to some pretty great places. Cheers!
If you told me what this was I may not try it, UNTIL I saw how beautifully you’ve prepared it; very nicely done!!
Thank you – It’s not toooooo scary 😉
Squid ink pasta is a new one to me, but since I love pasta and seafood, I have no doubt that I’d enjoy it. I’ll keep my eyes open for it.
I’m sure you’d love it Renee!
I brought packages of squid ink spaghetti from Sicily ! I’m in heaven ! And yes of course, what better to make with it than shrimp ?! I’m obsessed ! haha
Ooohhh – you are SO lucky Florentina! Jealous!!!
Seafood lovers will be over the moon for this dish. It looks amazing!
Diane – It’s definitely a great dish for true seafood lovers!
Wow, I did not know that squid ink pasta exists! This is such a beautiful recipe!
Thank you Sara – It’s such a unique, fun ingredient!
Wow those colors are striking!
Thanks Catherine! I think that’s the best part of the squid ink pasta!
Ooh I have to get my hands on some squid ink linguini. It looks wonderful!
Thank you Thalia! It’s very, very yummy – And just SO pretty!
You’ve got me on the hunt for squid linguini now because I don’t want to miss out on trying this! I
Good luck to you in finding some locally! You can always order online too!
This dish looks amazing and I would love a bowl for dinner 🙂
Thank you Razena!
I have never tried squid ink pasta but after looking at these pictures it makes me want to go buy some!
I think everyone should try squid ink once in their life. But after you do, you’ll want it again and again 😉
Seeing this pasta makes me so happy. I love that you used squid ink pasta – so fancy! The only time I’ve ever seen this made was on Iron Chef. Now I have to try this recipe!!
Sam – I hope you do give it a try! 🙂 You’ll be even happier after you eat it!
Haven’t tried Linguini before and now I am curious. Beautiful photos.Erin.
Thank you Shobelyn!
I don’t think there is a pasta I don’t like! This is a delicious pasta, love the combination.
Of course Rosemary – You are a true Italian!!!
my brother loves squid ink: must make this linguini for his bday!
What a great sister you would be Claudia!
I’ve never had squid ink anything but this dish is so pretty with the contrasting colors! I think I’ll look for some. 🙂
Thanks Marye! I hope you give it a try! You can always freak out unsuspecting dinner guests with it!
The colors are amazing and very inviting. Looks delicious.
Aren’t the colors the best Tina?
I have never tried squid ink pasta but it has always intrigued me! It sounds and looks good! Great share!
Thank you Chris 🙂 Definitely give it a try!
Well I am going to be looking for squid ink pasta now! Those colours are amazing! I love the contrast!! Looks delicious as well!
Thanks Cassandrea – Enjoy!
I have never heard of ‘Squid Ink Pasta’ but looking at your recipe, I would definitely eat this 🙂 Looks so pretty and tempting.
Thanks Molly – I aim to tempt 😉
I love the contract that the squid ink linguini provides. Just a beautiful plate!
Thanks Patti – The color is great, and it deepens as it cooks rather than losing color!
They sell squid ink in packets like ketchup here in Spain. It’s really popular in rice dishes. Love the color in your pasta!
That sounds amazing Lydia – You are SO lucky!
Such an interesting and vibrant looking dish! I was always skeptical to trying squid ink linguini, mainly because of its color. Silly me 🙂 Paired with seafood and tomatoes looks so inviting. Thanks for sharing it.
Of course Oana – I hope you try it and love it!
I love squid ink pasta – this dish looks so pretty and elegant.
I am so intrigued by the squid ink pasta- I’m going to have to find some and try it out! Beautiful dish!!
Yum! I love squid ink pasta. It really allows the other ingredients to pop against the dark color.
It sure does, doesn’t it?!
Erin I’m impressed! This looks super good obviously. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Derek 🙂
Absolutely gorgeous recipe that takes me straight to the ocean. And that’s saying a lot since I live close to the sea. Used dill instead of basil and it really complimented the fishiness of the dish. The flavour profile is so unique. I’ve never tasted a pasta dish quite like this before. Have added this to my list of regular recipes. Going to try it with tuna and other seafoods too.
Never ever in my life have I ever had squid ink anything! I’m a wee bit afraid to try!
Don’t be scared Whitney – Give it a try. I think you’ll like it. If not, feel free to substitute plain pasta for the squid ink version.
Any excuse to eat more shrimp, please!
This is absolutely beautiful! It sounds delicious! You are so lucky to live in a place where you can find exciting ingredients like squid ink. Here in WV we are very limited in that area, but this dish looks amazing.
Yes – We are VERY lucky here in Portland! Lots of great small shops and gourmet grocery stores!
I’ve never tried squid ink linguini, but this recipe and your delicious pictures sure makes a girl wanna try it! 🙂
I love ordering ink squid pasta in restaurants however have never actually made it at home – you’ve officially inspired me to do it!!
I’ve never had Squid Ink Pasta and that looks so delicious that I really want to go look for some.
It was a simple and easy recipe to follow. However, i think the juice of 2 lemons isnt exactly right. I juiced 1.5 lemon and even used slightly less and the pasta had such a sour taste. Am i getting it wrong?
Hi Hannah – I’m so sorry that it didn’t work well for you. Lemons can definitely vary in size, so that could be the issue. I will attempt this recipe again, and provide an actual measurement for the amount of lemon juice and zest, that should help! (I used medium sized lemons.) Also, the type of wine you use can have an effect on the dish… Very tart wines, like Sauvignon Blanc, could be especially tart and sour. Do you mind if I ask what wine you used? Thanks!
wow that intense and beautiful color of the squid linguine is amazing, such a fun way to change the routine pasta dinner.
What a beautiful dish! Would have to order the squid ink pasta, as I’m sure I wouldn’t find it around here — if only Amazon Now was available everywhere!! Sounds awesome!
Thanks Whitney – Amazon Now is definitely a fun new service – Hopefully it will be more widely available soon!
I never heard of squid ink pasta before. What amazing color and your photos are lovely!
Thank you Michelle – It’s a bit of a rare ingredient, but I think it’s quickly gaining in popularity!
I love shrimp pasta! Seafood and pasta is one of my favorite combinations!
Wanna hear something crazy? I have NEVER had squid ink pasta! Say WHAT?! Blasphemy for a chick growing up along the Pacific Northwest coast eh? I need to give this a whirl. SOON! Gorgeous photos, as always Erin!
Thanks Trish – You need to fix this craziness soon! 😉
This is such a stunning recipe! I love what a great statement piece squid ink pasta makes.
Thanks Sandra – I agree, the colors are really striking!
I love seafood with pasta!! Great recipe 🙂 Thanks for posting!
You’re welcome Chrissie – Enjoy!
This sounds amazing! I have a question though, you mention clam juice? and when do we include the white wine?
Hi Paloma – Thank you for catching this! I had revised the recipe to use white wine instead of clam juice (because who doesn’t want more wine!), but forgot to adjust the recipe accordingly. It has now been revised. However, you can always swap out the white wine for the same amount of clam juice if you prefer.
Omg I was in Japan and picked up some squid ink pasta…so I found your recipe and decided to try it. Love it! Simply delicious! Thanks you for sharing 🙂
So glad you liked it Joey! This isn’t one of my most popular recipes, because I think people are a bit intimidated by squid ink, but I think it’s just delicious! So cool that your noodles came all the way from Japan too!
I included a variation of this dish in an Italian dinner for six people at my house that raised $4,000 for charity. It was delicious…I used Scampi.
That’s amazing Don – Great job!
This dish would completely wow a seafood lover! Also, I am a fan of your ocean puns. 😉
Squid ink pasta is beautiful looking stuff. I know just the person who would appreciate this dish.
Squid ink pasta was in one of my favorite dishes at this place in OKC, I love it! This sounds so delicious with the shrimp and lemon! And quick + easy 🙂
It’s a super quick & easy recipe!
That sounds fascinating! It definitely makes for a stunning presentation. I bet it would be good with Greek wines, especially those from Santorini. They tend to have a very sea-like, briny, flavor that seems like it would work great with this dish.
I hope you love it Mary!
Great recipe! Under 30 minutes is a little misleading. It’s less than 30 mins AFTER you’ve prepped everything, zesting the lemons, slicing garlic, chopping basil, etc. Still, quite tasty and will definitely make again.
Just made this as per instructions and can’t fault it. The pasta has the sweet seafood taste of vongole, the prawns and tomato with the other ingredients are delicious. I added a bit of parmesan on top. Superb.
I’m so glad you liked it Paul! Cheers!
Is this a Jojo reference?
Without a doubt THE best pasta dish I’ve ever made at home! Truly easy gourmet!
First time I’ve had squid ink pasta and I can’t imagine having it another way now!
I’m so glad you liked it Matt! Thanks for the positive feedback!
Hello. I want to try this. Did you use the dried squid ink pasta ? If having for a family dinner., any suggestions? Thanks
Hi Lorie – Yes, the pasta I used was dry. But you could use fresh as well!
I was pleased with this, but my cherry tomatoes were pretty well blown out by this cooking time, which meant that there were some annoying skins by themselves. If making again, I’d put them in with the shrimp, or cook maybe 1 minute ahead. (I also wish recipe comments were limited to people who made the recipe or who needed help on the recipe.)
So quick and easy BUT bursting with flavors! This will be our weekly go to recipe from now on. Thank you for sharing!
You’re welcome Teresa! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!
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I’m about to try it now…hehe and then next week I’m going to do the mussels 🙂
Hello, should I use raw prawns or already cooked ones? Thank you 🙂
Hi Jo! They should be uncooked.
I just made this for my family and they can’t stop complementing the dish. I’m very inexperienced and it was easy and pretty fast! Thank you so much for sharing!!
You’re so welcome Keely! I’m glad it was a hit!
I saw the black cuttlefish pasta in my local deli so searched the Internet to find a recipe. I came across this one so purchased all the ingredients. Later on I was talking to my wife and told her what I was cooking tonight. There was a long silence. What’s wrong I said ? I don’t like that pasta; I have cooked it before and did not enjoy it. Anyway that evening I cooked the dish she went back for seconds and took the rest of it to work the next day. A fantastic dish and well worth getting all the ingredients thank you so much.
I love it Neil!!! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
This recipe is ah-mazing! I found that I didn’t need both lemons as long as you use one big juicy lemon and zest. Also instead of using the pasta water, I boiled the shrimp tails, shells, and heads and used that broth instead. I served with seared scallops and wine. Delish!
Thanks so much for sharing your tips Aeriel!
Excellent recipe, made it tonight and would have been fantastic if only it didn’t taste only like lemon. Would recommend to halve the amount of lemon juice. It tasted like lemon pasta…
Could the author recommend how much lemon juice in tablespoons to use please? 🙂 I’m going to make this again tomorrow but use maybe a tablespoon of lemon juice. Thanks!
You have made and described everything so nicely that really helped me. A huge thumbs up for such a delicious recipe. I am looking forward for more of such recipes in coming future too.
Was only making partial recipe and it was too thin. Will beef it up tomorrow. Love squid ink pasta! Just had some with a Blue Apron dish; ordered a big package off of Amazon. Will thicken up the leftovers tomorrow.
A cousin gifted us some squid ink pasta, which I love, but had never cooked. This recipe looked the best and most doable. I loved it! Garlic and lemon to the front! Next time I’ll try Aerial’s tip on boiling the shrimp tails.