Squid Ink Pasta with Mussels Recipe

Perfect for summer, spicy squid ink pasta with mussels is prepared in a spicy red arrabiata sauce over squid ink spaghetti.

Squid Ink Pasta with Mussels Recipe

Squid ink pasta with mussels is essentially spicy mussels arrabiata over ‘black’ squid ink pasta. Yes, you heard me correctly, pasta made with actual squid ink, dying it black. Does it taste any different? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Some say squid ink pasta is stronger than traditional pasta, but honestly I think it’s the novelty of it. Obscure looking pasta to impress your guests with a little extra gourmet flare?

Simply put, this recipe is built on a doctored up arrabiata sauce with added fresh garlic, cream, and fresh chopped parsley, served over squid ink spaghetti.

If you haven’t had arrabiata sauce, it’s basically a spicy red marinara sauce. I’ve had varying degrees of spiciness, however usually arrabiata is pretty mild. You can make your own by simply adding a little crushed red pepper flakes to your favorite marinara sauce.

My mom had this squid ink spaghetti in her pantry and gave it to me to experiment with. I had NEVER heard of it until this moment, and of course I was more than willing to try something new…and weird.

How to Cook Mussels in Red Sauce

Simmer mussels in a lidded saucepan with a jar of arrabbiata (plus minced garlic, chopped parsley, and a little cream) for about 5 minutes on medium heat. The sauce will quickly cook/steam the mussels until they fully open. I like to stir them into the sauce at this point to let the sauce soak in. Serve mussels over squid ink pasta with extra sauce.

With summer right around the corner, I love to prepare seafood pasta dishes. It’s the perfect way to put a light summer spin on a hot ‘winterish’ dinner. Of course there is ALWAYS room for chicken parmesan any time of the year, but seafood and pasta just feels like the right thing to do when the weather warms up.

Squid Ink Pasta with Mussels Recipe
Squid Ink Pasta with Mussels Recipe

Squid Ink Pasta with Mussels Recipe

  • Author: Shawn Williams
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian


Perfect for summer, spicy squid ink pasta with mussels is prepared in a spicy red arrabiata sauce over squid ink spaghetti.



  • 1/2 pound squid ink spaghetti or linguine
  • 12 pound mussels, rinsed and beards removed (if any)
  • 1012 ounces arrabiata sauce
  • 1/4 cup cream or half and half
  • 12 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add spaghetti and cook until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse and remove beards from the mussels. If any of the shells remain open or do not fully close when rinsing, discard as these are dead.
  3. In a large covered saucepan on medium-high heat, add arrabiata sauce, mussels, cream, garlic, half the fresh parsley, and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until mussels open on their own, about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve mussels and arrabiata sauce over spaghetti with the remaining chopped fresh parsley.

Keywords: spicy squid ink pasta recipe, mussels