Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Squid-and-pepper black spaghetti
( Spaghetti neri con calamari e peperoni )

Our original home cooking

Black spaghetti with calamari and peppers is first of all an excellent main dish for your Sunday lunch but a perfect choice for your Halloween menu too. If you're looking for Halloween recipe ideas, read it. Just a little scenography (black flat plate) and one or more whole squids on the top that turn into ghosts ... for the delight of your kids.

difficulty: easy

time: 1 h 30 minutes

calories: 356 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 200g (7 ounces) squid ink or black spaghetti
  • 500g (1.1 pound) thawed clear whole squids (calamari) with their arms and tentacles
  • 300g (10 1/2 ounces) red bell peppers
  • 80g (2.8 ounces) fresh young onion, sliced
  • 200g (7 ounces) ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • For squid filling
  • 200g (7 ounces) frozen spinach
  • Half a sun-dried tomato, cut into pieces
  • 20g (3/4 ounce) stoned green olives, sliced
  • 30g (1 1/4 ounce) fresh young onion, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
easy recipe
preparation: 30 minutes
plus spinach cooling time
cooking: 1 hour
total: 1 h 30 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 356 (kcal) 18 % - 1490 (kJ)
Protein: 18.5 (g) 37 % GDA
Total fat: 10.8 (g) 16 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 48.9 (g) 19 % GDA
Sugars: 9.8 (g) 11 % GDA

Download free PDF version (218 download).

Recipe for black spaghetti with pepper-and-squid sauce

Preparation and cooking

  • - Begin cooking frozen spinach and preparing some boiling water or vegetable broth if you prefer.
    Put spinach in a non-stick frying pan together with other ingredients (dried tomato, olives, onion and olive oil).
    Cook over gentle heat, stirring now and then. Add some tablespoons of hot water only if necessary.
    Let cooking juice reduce very well.
    At the end of cooking season to taste with salt.
    Let spinach cool.
    You can prepare spinach some hours ahead and chill until you use them.
  • - Cut two squids into rings and all their arms and tentacles into pieces.
  • - Fill the body of remaining squids with spinach mixture.
    Close the open end with a toothpick and steam.
    You'll need about 20 minutes if they are not too big.
    Keep them warm until you use them.
  • - Put onions in a non-stick frying pan together with olive oil and bay leaf. Let all the ingredients fry slightly.
  • - Add squid rings and other pieces and stir frequently.
  • - Dilute tomato paste into a ladle of hot water.
  • - Add diluted tomato paste and tomato pulp.
  • - Meanwhile clean bell peppers.
    Cut them into little pieces and add to the pan with squids.
  • - Season to taste with salt and stir.
  • - Continue cooking over gentle heat adding other hot water or vegetable broth if necessary.
    Remember to stir now and then.
  • - After 20 minutes bring abundant water to a boil, to cook the spaghetti.
  • - Season to taste with salt just before adding pasta.
  • - Cook al dente stage and drain very well.
  • - Meanwhile complete sauce cooking. Add chives and parsley just before turning off the stove.
  • - Transfer spaghetti into the pan with your sauce.

Just before serving

  • - Let spaghetti flavor in your sauce over high heat, stirring with delicacy. The secret to do a good Italian pasta dish is really this: complete pasta cooking in the pan with its sauce!
  • - Turn off the stove.
  • - Transfer black spaghetti on a serving plate and place whole squids on the top.
  • - For your Halloween menu dinner: drain spaghetti and season with 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil. Stir very well. Transfer spaghetti on a serving plate. Spoon your pepper-and-calamari sauce on the top and place the whole squid as you can see on the photo.
  • - At the end remember to slice the whole squids and add them to the single pasta portion.



  • - Black spaghetti with peppers and squids may be prepared for your Halloween party. They are very tasty for both adults and children.
    Here's my tip if you do this main dish for your children! Read the story of Bertha the Witch to keep them entertained and create the right atmosphere in the Halloween night. Simply use your imagination and make them believe you're doing all dishes the witch is used to cook at her house. Bertha the Witch is one of the Fairy Elle's characters. Links below!
    Berta is a blundering witch and therefore she doesn't take care so much of her dishes. Food and not appearance are importantfor her ... This spaghetti dish may be called Spaghetti of Bertha The Witch!
  • - If you choose to prepare this spaghetti dish for another occasion, you can use all squids for your sauce. In this case increase the amount of tomato pulp.
  • - You can use other kinds of pasta, the shape you prefer. My husband and I like tagliatelle very much with this sauce.
  • - For a better taste use fresh chives and parsley.
  • - If you have some pasta left don't worry. It tastes fantastic if heated the day after.

Menu planning

  • - Spaghetti with bell peppers and calamari is a perfect main dish for your Sunday lunch.
    But you can prepare it for a special occasions with your friends too. Here's my tip for an authentic Italian menu. Begin with a starter: crostini with fish salad (link below!). Then serve this spaghetti dish. In Italy we are used to serve a second course after pasta dish. In this case you could choose among a fish or poultry recipe. Complete with a typical Italian dessert.

Useful links for this recipe

  • - Interested in Bertha's story? follow the link that will bring you in the magic world of Fairy Elle :))
  • - I have just suggested a starter to serve before this spaghetti dish: crostini with fish salad.

Healthy eating

  • - Squid-and-pepper black spaghetti is a tasty one-plate meal. It is a low-fat recipe, ideal for your lunch.
    In fact we remember you pasta should be eaten preferably at lunch and the calories eaten at lunch should be 500 - 700 (30 - 35% of energy needs for an adult if his daily needs are about 2000 calories and he correctly divides his calories into 5 micro-meals).
    Complete your meal with raw seasonal vegetables or a green salad dressed with one teaspoon olive oil and vinegar according to your own taste (per head) and, to finish, fresh fruit.
    Here are the doses per head: 50g (1 3/4 ounce) pasta, 80g (2.8 ounces) bell peppers, 50g (1 3/4 ounce) tomato pulp, half a squid, 1 teaspoon olive oil and the aromatic herbs you want. Then you have to consider the whole squids to steam. If you don't want to garnish your pasta dish you can use a whole squid per head.
  • - A tip for hungry people. Don't change the doses of this pasta dish. Eat raw vegetables if you're still hungry.
  • - Special occasion menu. You can choose it for a full menu, sure to impress your guests as it is explained above. Don't worry for calories, fat, sugars in such an event. It's rare, isn't it?
  • - Pasta with calamari and bell peppers has 4.5g of fiber (daily value is 23.0g)
  • - If you want to drink a glass of wine remember you have to add 80-85 kcal per 100ml.


What's the right wine for " Squid-and-pepper black spaghetti "?

Lambrusco di Sorbara rosé (wine from Emilia - Italy) is a perfect pairing for this black spaghetti dish!