Squid ink pasta with mussels is an incredibly simple and elegant dish made with squid ink pasta, mussels, marinara, garlic, shaved parmesan, and fresh basil. The delicious combo of fresh mussels, pasta, and marinara is incredibly hard to beat. But the best part is you can pull this fancy pasta dish together in under 20 minutes!
Squid ink pasta gets its flavor and unique black shiny appearance from squid, octopus, or cuttlefish ink. All three animals are very closely related and can all be classified as ‘squid ink’ when it comes to ingredients.
It’s the perfect pairing for seafood because of its subtle briny flavor. Admittedly, the flavor is very mild and may go entirely unnoticed. Regardless, the appearance is a novelty and makes for a great presentation.
How to Clean and Prep Mussels For Cooking
Before cooking mussels, It’s important to rinse the shells with cool water to remove any dirt or sand. This is a good time to discard any mussels that remain open or don’t fully shut on their own when rinsing. These mussels are dead and should not be consumed. Sometimes it takes a minute for mussels to fully close so be patient.
How to Cook Mussels in Red Sauce
This recipe is easiest to prepare in a large lidded saucepan. The lid will retain all of the heat and the simmering sauce will quickly cook/steam the mussels. The process is no different than steaming mussels in beer, wine, or water. Once the shells have fully opened, the mussels are fully cooked and ready to eat. The whole cooking process only takes about 5 minutes.
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Squid ink pasta with mussels is an incredibly simple and elegant dish made with squid ink pasta, mussels, marinara, garlic, shaved parmesan, and fresh basil.
- 12–14 ounces squid ink spaghetti or linguine
- 2 pounds mussels, rinsed and beards removed (if any)
- 15 ounces marinara or spicy arrabbiata sauce
- 2–3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt, for pasta water
- Dash crushed red pepper flakes
- Shaved parmesan (for serving)
- Minced fresh basil (for serving)
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook until al dente.
- Meanwhile, rinse and remove the beards from the mussels. If any of the shells remain open or do not fully close when rinsing, discard them as these are dead.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large lidded saucepan. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add marinara and mussels and cover.
- Bring to a simmer and cook until mussels open on their own, about 5 minutes.
- Plate a serving of pasta and spoon mussels and marinara over pasta as desired. Alternatively, you can add the pasta directly to the saucepan and toss it with the entire dish. This is largely dependent on how much room you have in the pan.
- Top each plate with fresh chopped basil and shaved parmesan cheese.
This dish can also be made with arrabbiata sauce in place of marinara. This adds an awesome spicy kick.
- Serving Size: 1/4
- Calories: 557
- Sugar: 2g
- Sodium: 1201mg
- Fat: 17.8
- Saturated Fat: 3.5g
- Carbohydrates: 58.2g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 39.4g
- Cholesterol: 131mg
Keywords: spicy squid ink pasta recipe, mussels