Fideua Squid Ink Pasta with Tangy Allioli Verde

A large pan of squid ink pasta sits with baby octopus on top and garnished with parsley

– Spanish fideua negra infused with squid ink and a tangy allioli verde sauce –

Squid ink pasta with baby squid is better known in Spain as ‘Fideua negra’ and can be found most prominently up and down the Mediterranean coast. Fideua Negra is a traditional fideua recipe from the Valencian region. It’s very similar to Italian squid ink pasta in (spaghetti al nero di seppia) and is made with a pasta or noodle called fideua that is cooked in the black ink from the squid. 

The Squid Ink flavor is delicious, and best of all, this recipe is quick and very easy to make.  It’s ideal for a midweek dinner or for when you need something fast and flavorsome. Our Squid ink pasta recipe serves 4 people and can be made in under an hour.

Serving:

4-6 people

Ready in:

 1 hour

Skill level:

medium

Serve with:

home made allioli

About This Recipe

Native to the Valencian Region, you’ll find variations of Fideua Negra up and down the shore of the Mediterranean Sea and throughout the Balearic Islands. Squid ink pasta is always served with allioli. No matter what you prefer to call it, squid ink pasta is traditionally made in Spain with a small fine pasta that resembles small sticks of spaghetti called fideo or fideua.

Fideo noodles are easy to find and can usually be purchased in any decent Spanish supermarket, but if you cant find fideo noodles, you can easily substitute them for another type of pasta. Try out squid ink linguine, squid ink spaghetti, or any other type of squid ink pasta

This fideua recipe is super quick and easy to prepare, and can be made in an hour.

Want to know more about Valencian cuisine? Check out our Valencia regional foodie guide!

What you’ll need to make Squid ink fideua

For the fideua negra

  • 14 Oz. (400 grams) baby squid (tubes or whole)
  • 0.5 Oz. (12 grams) of black squid ink 
  • 14 OZ. (400g) packet of fideo No. 1 noodles 
  • 27 fl. Oz. (800 ml) of fish stock
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes, grated
  • Rind and juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 large onion, diced fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • A handful of fresh parsley, chopped fine
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • A few threads of saffron
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (for seasoning)

For the allioli verde 

  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Equipment needed to make fideua squid ink pasta

  • 1 large 12-inch (30cm) frying pan with deep sides at least 3 inches (7.6cm)
  • Small hand blender (to make the allioli verde)
A tall stacck of squid ink pasta sits beside a few cooked baby octopus

What is Squid Ink?

Squid ink is, unsurprisingly, a deep black or dark-blue ink-like substance that is made naturally by squids. Like other cephalopods such as cuttlefish and octopus store this ink in an ink sac within their bodies and release the ink as a decoy to confuse predators.

Squid ink in cooking

For centuries squid ink has been used for a variety of purposes including in medicine, for writing and art, and for cooking. Squid ink is most commonly used in European cooking in countries that dot the Mediterranean sea such as Greece, Italy, and Spain. 

Further afield, Squid ink is also used extensively in Japanese cuisine and is often referred to as the 5th taste called “umami”. 

Popular squid ink dishes include;

  • Squid ink pasta (Spain, Italy, Greece)
  • Black rice and black risotto dishes (Italy, Greece)
  • Black rice sushi dishes (Japan)
  • Ink soups 
  • Cookies
  • Black ice cream

What does squid ink taste like?

The Squid ink flavor is quite neutral and is best described as savory and slightly briny in taste. Squid ink taste also has a slightly earthy taste and texture, but it’s very subtle and is ideal for cooking. Squid ink is not a powerful flavor but adds a subtle earthiness and seafood flavor to your pasta recipe. 

What type of sauce goes with squid ink pasta?

Squid ink by itself is a perfect accompaniment that colors and adds a subtle flavor to your pasta dish. Using a creamy or white wine-based sauce is common in many Italian squid ink pasta dishes. In Spain, olive oil, grated tomato, onion, and garlic base are used to make fideua negra

a few small squid sit on a plate waiting to be cooked

What is special about squid ink pasta?

Squid ink has a thick, sticky texture on its own, making it ideal for gelling to any pasta recipe. Squid ink pasta recipes are perhaps most appealing due to their distinctive coloring, as the ink turns the pasta a light grey or black color, depending on how much ink is used.

Squid ink health benefits

Aside from its appealing color and texture, squid ink has a number of proven health benefits. Squid ink helps boost your immunity and has antimicrobial properties, meaning the ink is effective against pathogens such as bacteria, fungus, and viruses. 

Squid ink also has antibiotic effects against some infectious bacteria, can reduce pain and inflammation, and has ​​antioxidant properties. While many of these benefits are noted, the quantity of squid ink in food recipes is quite minimal.

Squid ink pasta – Ingredient substitutes

This recipe makes the traditional Valencian Fideua negra which we admit does take a little longer (don’t worry, it’s totally worth the wait!).

Other ingredients can also be substituted to taste. Any kind of seafood works well, shrimp work particularly well, especially when paired with some cherry tomatoes, as do clams or mussels too.

Asmall glass of fideo pasta sits on a rustic chopping board

Looking for a quick and easy midweek meal? 

Try this squid ink pasta recipe using spaghetti or tagliatelle pasta

Squid ink pasta sauce – The Tuxuedo 

If you’re going to experiment with the type of pasta, it’s also worth experimenting with the sauce for your squid ink pasta too. Linguine pasta works well with a light creamy sauce that’s been infused with squid ink. It’s often referred to as the tuxedo as it is a delicate, smooth sauce that’s full of flavor. 

If you’re opting for a quick and easy budget meal using spaghetti, a tomato based sauce that we’ve used in this recipe works well, as does a creamy white sauce.

A large pan of squid ink pasta sits with baby octopus on top and garnished with parsley

How to make Fideua Negra (step-by-step guide)

Cooking with black squid ink can be a little daunting at first, but the good news is it’s really not too difficult. First things first, you’ll be working with ink that will quickly stain clothes or benchtops if left for too long. Be careful with the ink, and if you spill any ink, be sure to clean it up straight away.

Below is an easy-to-follow recipe guide that will take you through all the steps to make the ultimate fideua negra!

Step 1 – Prepare the baby squid

Note: If you’ve bought frozen or cleaned baby squid, you’ll only need to cut up the tubes to suit, then fry the squid till golden and move onto step 2. 

  • First, clean the baby squid in some fresh water. 
  • Remove the head and tentacles and clean out the inner part of the tubes. Cut the tubes into ½ inch thick rings. Leave the heads whole and trim off any tentacles that are too long. 
  • Give everything a rinse in some fresh water and then place to the squid on some paper towel to remove the excess water. 
  • In a large frying pan on high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the prepared baby squid and fry for 3-4 minutes. 
  • Around halfway through cooking the squid, add the garlic. Once the squid has begun to become lightly golden, remove it from the heat ad set it aside for use later.

Step 2 – Prepare the base sauce

  • In a large frying pan on medium heat, add the olive oil and onions and fry for around 5 minutes or until golden. 
  • Next, Add most of the red bell pepper and fry for an additional minute or two (keep a few small slices for the garnish when you’re ready to serve).
  • Reduce heat to medium, add the grated tomato and lemon rind and mix well. Season as required and cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Add the black squid ink and stir through thoroughly. Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Step 3 – Add the pasta and baby squid

  • Next, add the fideo pasta to the ingredients in the pan and mix well. Make sure that the fideo is well covered in black squid ink. 
  • Level out all ingredients in the pan and increase heat to high. 
  • Add the stock so it is around ¼ inch above the top of the pan ingredients. Give everything a good stir-through so that the ink covers all ingredients evenly.
  • Once you see the stock start to bubble, reduce the heat down to medium and allow to simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. It’s important not to stir during this stage of the recipe. 
  • At the 10 minutes mark, add the baby squid to the top of the fideo pasta and continue to simmer for around 5 minutes more.
  • You’ll see the stock gradually evaporate, and once you see no more bubbles coming from the stock, remove from the heat and cover the pan with a sheet of parchment paper for around 10 minutes. This will help the fideo pasta ‘curl’. 

Step 4 – To serve

You can serve the fideua straight from the pan. Simply garnish with chopped parsley and optionally a squeeze of some fresh lemon. 

Allioli verde

It is a tradition in the Valencian region (and Catalonia too) to serve fideua negra with some homemade allioli.

(You’ll find our allioli verde recipe here).

Rice and Pasta Recipes from the Valencia Region

A large seafood paella sits with large shrimp, mussels, and other seafood scattered on top.

Seafood Paella

– Paella de Marisco –

A large pan of Orchard paella sits with small snails and roasted vegiies scattered on top

Orchard paella

Paella huertana | Vegetarian Option

A large pan of fideua marisco sist on a counter decoratedw ith large cooked shrimp

Fideua De Marisco

Valencian noodle dish made with seafood

a close up photo of a pan full of fideua negra with baby squid sitting on top

Fideua squid ink pasta with Tangy Allioli Verde

Squid ink pasta with baby squid is better known in Spain as ‘Fideua negra’ and can be found most prominently up and down the Mediterranean coast. Fideua Negra is a traditional fideua recipe from the Valencian region.
It’s very similar to Italian squid ink pasta in (spaghetti al nero di seppia) and is made with a pasta or noodle called fideua that is cooked in the black ink from the squid.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
resting time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course fideua, lunch, Main Course, main meal, pasta, seafood
Cuisine fideua, Mediterranean, pasta, Seafood, spanish, squid, Valencia
Servings 6 people
Calories 349 kcal

Equipment

  • large 12 inch (30cm) frying pan with deep sides at least 3 inches (7.6cm)

Ingredients

For the fideua negra

  • 14 Oz. 400 grams baby squid (tubes or whole)
  • 0.5 Oz. 12 grams of black squid ink
  • 14 OZ. 400g packet of fideo No. 1 noodles
  • 27 fl. Oz. 800 ml of fish stock
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes grated
  • Rind and juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 large onion diced fine
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • A handful of fresh parsley chopped fine
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • A few threads of saffron
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

For the alioli verde:

  • 1 small garlic clove crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions
 

Step 1 - Prepare the baby squid

  • First, clean the baby squid in some fresh water.
    Note: If you’ve bought frozen or cleaned baby squid, you’ll only need to cut up the tubes to suit, then fry the squid till golden and move onto step 2.
    14 Oz. 400 grams baby squid (tubes or whole)
    Some baby squid sits on a slate after being cleaned in fresh water
  • Remove the head and tentacles and clean out the inner part of the tubes. Cut the tubes into ½ inch thick rings. Leave the heads whole and trim off any tentacles athat are too long.
    14 Oz. 400 grams baby squid (tubes or whole)
  • Give everything a rinse in some fresh water and then place the squid on some paper towel to remove the excess water.
    14 Oz. 400 grams baby squid (tubes or whole)
  • In a large frying pan on high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the prepared baby squid and fry for 3-4 minutes.
    4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    baby squid are being fried in a large frying pan
  • Around half way through cooking the squid, add the garlic. Once the squid has begun to become lightly golden, remove from the heat and set aside for use later.
    3 garlic cloves

Step 2 - Prepare the base sauce

  • In a large frying pan on medium heat, add the olive oil and onion and fry for around 5 minutes or until golden.
    1 large onion
    a frying pan with some fried onion
  • Next, Add most of the red bell pepper and fry for an additional minute or two (keep a few small slices for the garnish when you’re ready to serve).
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Reduce heat to medium, add the grated tomato and lemon rind and mix well. Season as required and cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    2 ripe plum tomatoes, Rind and juice of ½ lemon
  • Add the black squid ink and stir though thoroughly. Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
    0.5 Oz. 12 grams of black squid ink

Step 3 - Add the pasta and baby squid

  • Next add the fideo pasta and squid to the ingredients in the pan and mix well. Sprinkle in a few strands of saffron. Make sure that the fideo pasta is well covered in the black ink sauce.
    14 OZ. 400g packet of fideo No. 1 noodles, A few threads of saffron
    Asmall glass of fideo pasta sits on a rustic chopping board
  • Level out all ingredinets in the pan and increase heat to high.
  • Add the stock so it is around ¼ inch above the top of the ingredients. Once you see the stock start to bubble, reduce back down to medium and allow to simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes. It’s important not to stir during this stage of the recipe.
    27 fl. Oz.
  • You’ll see the stock gradually evaporate, and once you see no more bubbles coming from the stock, remove from the heat and cover with foil for around 5-10 minutes.

Step 4 - To serve

  • You can serve the fideua straight from the pan. Simply garnish with chopped parsley and optionally a squeeze of some fresh lemon.
    A handful of fresh parsley, 1 small garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, 1 large egg, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    a large pan of squid ink pasta sits on a dark countertop

Traditionally in the Valencian region, fideua negra is served with some fresh bread and some alloli verde (You’ll find the allioli recipe here).

    Notes

    Storage

    Fideua squid ink pasta contains seafood and should be consumed within 48 hours if left refrigerated. 

    Nutrition

    Serving: 150gCalories: 349kcalCarbohydrates: 54.2gProtein: 11gFat: 10.8gSaturated Fat: 1.3gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 124mgPotassium: 127mgFiber: 3.7gSugar: 5.3gCalcium: 14mgIron: 2mg
    Keyword espanola, fideua, Ink, main course, paella, seafood, spain, spanish, Spanish cuisine, squid, Squid ink, valencia

    Fideua Squid Ink Pasta – Cooking Tips and FAQs

     

    What is squid ink pasta made of?

    The pasta used can vary from one recipe to another (we’ve also got this 30-minute squid ink pasta recipe that uses regular spaghetti). The crucial ingredient that gives the pasta a distinctive black color is the squid ink itself. 

    Does squid ink make pasta taste different?

    Squid ink has a very subtle flavor that does not change the flavor of the pasta. Squid ink is mostly used in cooking for its visual appeal, giving dishes a striking black color.  

    Is squid ink pasta healthy?

    Squid Ink pasta is very healthy and is considered part of the Mediterranean Diet. Squid ink has also been found to have many health benefits including being effective against known pathogens such as bacteria, fungus, and viruses. 

    Is squid ink pasta easy to make?

    Yes, squid ink pasta is very easy to make. Follow our step-by-step recipe guide for best results. 

    • Prep time: 20 minutes
    • Cook time: 30 minutes
    • Resting time: 10 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour

    How to store squid ink pasta?

    Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 24 hours after cooking. Be sure to adequately reheat any leftovers before consuming. 

    Can you freeze squid ink pasta?

    Yes, squid ink pasta can be frozen and will keep up to 3 months in the freezer. Use an airtight container and allow adequate time to thaw before reheating.