Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Squid ink pasta, mussels, saffron and spinach

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 4
From Saturday Kitchen Best Bites


  1. Place the eggs, yolks and squid ink into a bowl and whisk the mixture until the ingredients have combined.

  2. Place the flour into the bowl of a food processor. Pour the egg and ink mixture into the bowl and blend the ingredients until they form a crumbly dough then add one tablespoon of the olive oil. A little water maybe needed to adjust the dough to the required consistency if the dough is too dry.

  3. Place the dough onto a floured board and knead with floured hands until the dough's texture has become smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with cling film and transfer to the fridge so that the dough can rest.

  4. Place the fish stock into a saucepan and add the saffron. Bring the stock to the boil and then remove from the heat and set aside so that the ingredients can infuse.

  5. Wash and scrape the mussels and discard any open ones.

  6. Roll the pasta dough out in a pasta machine to ½mm thickness. Slice the pasta into the shape required (fettuccini, tagliatelle, spaghetti).

  7. Heat a large lidded frying pan until hot. Add the butter, shallots and garlic to the pan and cook gently until the butter has melted and the shallots and garlic have begun to soften and turn golden in colour.

  8. Turn the heat up high on the frying pan and pour the wine into the pan. Bring the mixture to the boil.

  9. Add the mussels to the pan and turn them over and over to coat them in the liquid. Cover the pan with a lid and allow them to steam until all the mussels have opened and are cooked through. (Discard any mussels that haven't opened.)

  10. Place the pasta into a large pan of rapidly boiling salted water. Cook for three minutes.

  11. Remove the lid from the mussels and add the cream, saffron and stock mixture and the spinach and mix well.

  12. Season the mussels with freshly ground black pepper and add the tomato to the pan.

  13. Drain the excess water from the pasta. Return the pasta to the pan and add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pasta (this prevents the pasta from sticking together).

  14. To serve, divide the pasta among four bowls and, using a ladle, divide the mussels among the four bowls. Pour some of the broth into each bowl.


  • 3 free-range egg yolks
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 3 sachets squid ink (available from some fishmongers)
  • 250g/9oz type 00 pasta flour, plus extra for flouring
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fish stock
  • 1 pinch saffron strands
  • 1.5kg/3lb 4oz mussels
  • 50g/2oz unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 150ml/5fl oz dry white wine
  • 60ml/2½fl oz double cream
  • 200g/7oz baby leaf spinach
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and cut into 0.5cm/¼in cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

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