Squid Ink Pasta with Crab

I really enjoyed my dinner when I was at SPQR last year. When I came across a pasta recipe from them in an old Tasting Table article, I had to try it. To mix things up a bit, I used some squid ink fettuccine instead of a classic linguine.


What I really love about squid ink is the intense color you get from it. It may be slightly briney in taste but I never found it to be particularly distinctive nor fishy, what many people assumes it to be. I think it’s a fun change from regular old pasta.

You can buy squid ink pasta from most gourmet grocery stores or you can make your own your own (bonus points if you harvest your own squid ink). It’s not super difficult to make it from scratch, it’s just really really messy — well, it’s really messy for me anyways. One of the squid ink pasta recipes I like is from Food52 because 1.) they have a nice step-by-step guide 2.) you can buy a jar of squid ink on the same site!

For four servings (slightly adapted from SPQR via Tasting Table):

  • 1/2 lb. squid ink fettuccine
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 c. sliced fire-roasted red peppers
  • 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 c. white wine
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 8 oz. crab meat (canned if you’re lazy, fresh lump if you’re fancy)
  • 1/4 c. basil leaves, chiffonade

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente.  While the pasta cooks, heat a large skillet over medium heat.


Add the olive oil and peppers and cook, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the white wine and tomato paste, increase the heat to medium-high and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Keep warm over low heat. When the pasta is done, drain, and reserve a few tablespoons of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to coat with the sauce, moistening it with the reserved pasta water as desired. Just before serving, add the crab meat and basil to the sauce and toss gently. Serve immediately.



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