Squid Ink Spaghetti with Shrimp and Fennel

Bring a bit of bling to your spaghetti with shrimp by adding some squid ink pasta and the classics chili, garlic and lemon juice.

Bring a bit of bling to your spaghetti with shrimp by adding some squid ink pasta and the classics chili, garlic and lemon juice.

Squid Ink Spaghetti with Shrimp and Fennel.

Spaghetti with Shrimp is a really classic combination.

To be honest I have not strayed too far from the pretty traditional protocols of a dish that is already a real winner.

But I do like to tinker and add my own slant to dishes. As a result, you will find garlic, chili and lemon notes that you would expect to find in any good shrimp spaghetti recipe.

In addition, I have added some fennel because I love the subtle aniseed flavour it brings to sea food.

Then some rather fab looking and delicious black pasta. The colour comes from squid ink. stop pulling that face, I can see you!

Squid ink pasta is delicious and has already made a couple of appearances here on Krumpli. Check out this squid ink spaghetti recipe with bacon and capers or this squid ink pasta with peas and pepperoni.

Bring a bit of bling to your spaghetti with shrimp by adding some squid ink pasta and the classics chili, garlic and lemon juice.

Shrimp and Fast Food.

As an ingredient, I think shrimp are the gods and goddesses of fast food.

This Spaghetti with Shrimp recipe takes just 20 minutes to cook and there are countless recipes here on Krumpli that share that speed.

Whether it be my quick grilled shrimp with watermelon or my light and summery hot and sour shrimp soup… They all cook in minutes!

The most important thing about shrimp is to not be afraid of the frozen stuff. I live in landlocked Hungary and have no option.

But guess what? Almost all of the fresh shrimp you buy was originally deep frozen at sea.

Shrimp or prawns are a highly perishable foodstuff and as such freezing them at sea is the very best way of keeping them fresh. Just make sure you defrost them before cooking, running them under cold water for 5 minutes does the trick.

As for deveining shrimp, do whatever feels good to you. I’m a pretty robust eater and tend not to care. I will devein larger shrimp for aesthetic reasons but no other.

Although if I am cooking larger shrimp on the grill that never happens, they go on whole as it gives the very best results.

Bring a bit of bling to your spaghetti with shrimp by adding some squid ink pasta and the classics chili, garlic and lemon juice.

Squid Ink Pasta.

Squid ink has a really subtle flavour of the sea. But in pasta, I think it brings a wonderful silkiness to the texture. That is one of the reasons I love to cook with it.

Texture is hugely important to me when it comes to food.

There are some foods I genuinely dislike for texture alone, bananas, avocado, olives and aubergine all make my ‘ikky’ list because the texture of them makes me shudder.

Oddly I do not mind the flavour of any of them if you can manage to isolate them from the horrible ‘mouth feel’. For instance, I love banana bread and olive oil, but both of the ingredients… Ewwww!

Oh look, I wondered off on a different path again.

I’ve been cooking with this stuff for a long old time but have yet to put a recipe here. Mainly because it is a real pain in the ass to take a picture of!

And let’s face it, pictures are kinda important when it comes to people seeing your food and thinking, yum.

I have been determined to share this Squid Ink Spaghetti with Shrimp and Fennel recipe for a while. So we have been eating it all the time so I can come up with a way of photographing it.

Life is so very hard I know, but hey it takes 20 minutes to make start to finish, looks a million dollars and tastes fantastic.

Of course, you can swap out the squid ink pasta for regular pasta but I urge you to hunt some down and give it a try. It’s awesome!

Bring a bit of bling to your spaghetti with shrimp by adding some squid ink pasta and the classics chili, garlic and lemon juice.
Squid Ink Spaghetti With Shrimp

Squid Ink Spaghetti With Shrimp

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Bring a bit of bling to your spaghetti with shrimp by adding some squid ink pasta and the classics chili, garlic and lemon juice.


  • 1 Bulb Fennel, Sliced finely top to tail I used a mandolin with a 1.5mm slicing attachment
  • 250 g Frozen Shrimp, Defrosted
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Cooking Oil, Neutral
  • 130 g Squid Ink Spaghetti
  • 1 Garlic Clove, Finely sliced
  • 1 Tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1 Lemon, We will only need the zest and juice of half of the lemon
  • Salt


  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil.
  2. Whilst the water is boiling check through the shrimp and remove any veins and ensure they are dry before adding half the chili flakes, half the lemon zest, the garlic and one tablespoon of the oil and set aside.
  3. Add the pasta to the pan and cook as per the instructions, should take around 8 minutes.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a high heat and cook off the fennel for 2-3 minutes, flipping over half way through the cooking time, the remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Now add the garlic and shrimp to the frying pan with the marinade and cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes.
  6. 30 seconds before finishing add in the lemon juice.
  7. You should now be ready to drain the pasta, drain and add in the shrimp and associated sauce and mix together along with a pinch of coarse sea salt.
  8. Return the fennel to the pan and bring back to temperature with the remaining chili flakes.
  9. Serve the fennel with the pasta and top with the shrimp and a drizzle of any sauce and the remaining lemon rind and if you have any some fennel fronds.


You can of course use regular spaghetti for this dish.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 507Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 416mgSodium: 1613mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 4gSugar: 18gProtein: 44g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

24 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. Just made this and it was absolutely delicious!! I had some squid ink scialatielli that I bought on a recent trip to Italy and it worked beautifully with this recipe. It’s a bit thicker than normal pasta with a bit of a bite to it. I doubled the lemon and garlic and olive oil because I love those. I possibly accidentally put in extra chili flakes as it had a real kick to it….I love heat but I could have held back a bit! And we added some capers just to see if they enhanced it…. it was delicious either way. Thanks so much! A real winner!!

    • So glad you enjoyed it Anna, I love squid in pasta! I have to say that the levels of chili are so difficult to approach as a recipe writer, it is such a personal thing and all chili flakes will be very different in terms of their punch. I guess you will just have to make it again with less chili, bummer hey, teeheehehehehe.

      BTW I can totally see the capers working wonderfully!

  2. This squid ink pasta recipe looks delicious and definitely a must try! This recipe is simple but filled with rich flavors!

  3. I have tried squid ink spaghetti in restaurants and I love it, but I have never made it myself. This looks really easy, so definitely something to try.

    • It certainly is simple, just like any other pasta really although if you over cook it hen it is particularly soggy but cook it right then it is glorious.

  4. I’ve never tried squid ink pasta before because I wasn’t sure whether I would like the flavour. I’m happy to read that it has a subtle flavour and a lovely texture. The photos are gorgeous!

    • The flavour is very subtle indeed it is definitely there but one of those ‘difficult to put your finger on’ things 😉

  5. I never had squid ink spaghetti before, but it looks delicious and interesting with the added shrimps. Your pictures are mouthwatering! ♥

  6. Eager to try this. I had the ink squid pasta with lobster years ago at Biaggi’s in Bloomington, IL.
    It was so delicious and I’d love to have their recipe.

    • I wish I could get my hands on lobster, shrimp is a rarity here in landlocked Hungary, particularly out in the sticks… I hope you give it a try some time soon, I love this recipe.

  7. I love that you could see me pulling the face! Sorry, but I was. But you had me at fennel, which I love. Crazy looking pasta, which I will believe tastes good. Nice combination of flavours going on with your dish.

    • Heheheheeee, I knew there would be some… My wife case in point when I introduced her to it years ago, as with most instant reactions to food ideas it was unfounded 😀

  8. I’ve never tried squid ink pasta before, but I’ve always wanted to! Love how you’ve kept the flavors simple, but added your own awesome twist – as always!

    • Food is there to be tweaked… Squid ink pasta is always great adds a bit of drama and a slightly different flavour and texture which I love, but it is subtle 🙂

  9. I’ve never had squid ink pasta, and I confess I’ve been a little intimidated by it. But I think it is absolutely gorgeous, and your description of it makes it sound really good and approachable! I think I need to screw up my courage and try it out. 🙂

    • Thanks Elizabeth… I think we can all be like that with new foods, but it is just pasta with a subtle flavour and a slightly different texture, I love it and it is always a fab talking point.


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