Black-as-Night Squid Ink Pasta with Cockles, Chorizo, and Tomatoes

Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d. Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin’d. Harpier cries:—’tis time! ’tis time! Round about the caldron go;  In the poison’d entrails throw.—  Toad, that under cold tone, Days and nights has thirty-one; Swelter’d venom sleeping got, Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot! 

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 

Fillet of a fenny snake, In the caldron boil and bake; Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,— For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.  

Double, double toil and trouble;  Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 

Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf; Witches’ mummy; maw and gulf Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark; Root of hemlock digg’d i the dark; Liver of blaspheming Jew; Gall of goat, and slips of yew Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse; Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips; Finger of birth-strangled babe Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,— Make the gruel thick and slab: Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron, For the ingrediants of our caldron. 

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble. Cool it with a baboon’s blood, Then the charm is firm and good.

From Macbeth

Feeling the Halloween vibes yet? How many spooky movies have you watched? Oh, even better question. How many handfuls of candy corn and mini kit-kats have you consumed?

Definitely not more than me, so you should probably catch up.

In the spirit of the creepy Halloween series of years past, I wanted to play with something dark for this year’s post. I thought back to those kid parties when you’d sit in the dark and someone’s mom would pass around bowls of grapes, cold spaghetti, and other “horrors” passing them off as eyeballs, witch hair, and anything else you could come up with. I’ll tell you the truth, I never touched the stuff in the bowls! I was much too scared and obviously bought into everything. I was a pretty wussy kid.

Playing with the darkness and taking that cold, slimy spaghetti as inspiration, I settled on squid ink pasta. Deep, dark, and mysterious. Then paired the subtle sea flavor with cockles. Small members of the clam family. Think Littlenecks but a bit smaller and sweeter. They also have a darker, greener shell making them an excellent addition. And they sound kind of creepy, right? Cockles.

Add in chorizo (Spanish, not Mexican)—a smoky, complex ingredient—and you’ve got the makings for a wonderful Halloween dish. Fit for any dinner party or fuel for the best scary movie marathon before dipping into the candy.

Bonus: it’s one pot. Clean-up is a snap.

In the interest of getting to that spooky, Black-as-Night good stuff, the science-y bit will be a throwback to this clam pasta. Morbid, but the science behind why those shellfish pop open when you cook them is because you’re killing them. Fitting for the theme of today’s post, right? Read about the deets, if you dare, here!

One more creepy quote because, why not?

When witches go riding,

and black cats are seen,

the moon laughs and whispers,

’tis near Halloween.


Catch the other Halloween posts for a truly terrifying holiday 😉


Black-as-Night Squid Ink Pasta with Cockles, Chorizo, and Tomatoes

Serves 4 (6 as a smaller entrée with a salad or other side)

4 cloves garlic (for the vampires), minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

3 ounces aged chorizo, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces

A big handful of halved cherry tomatoes

½ cup dry white wine

1 cup tomato puree

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock (you could also use fish stock to up the shellfish and squid ink flavor)

2/3 lb fresh squid ink pasta (I used fettucine)

1 cup frozen peas

Kosher salt

1 lemon

24 live cockles, scrubbed and cleaned

¼ cup chopped parsley

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, tall-sided pan over medium. When hot add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir, heating until the garlic is fragrant. About 2 minutes.
  2. Add the chorizo and cherry tomatoes, stirring into the garlic. Cook until the cherry tomatoes are soft and slightly blistered, stirring occasionally. About 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add in the white wine and bring to a low boil. Add in the tomato puree, stock, and juice from half of the lemon. Stir together. When starting to simmer, add in the pasta and try to submerge under the liquid as best as possible. You may have to try to unwind the pasta strands if they are twisted together with your wooden spoon or a couple forks. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook 1 minute.
  4. Remove cover and stir in the peas and season with salt to your taste (start with a few generous pinches and check the flavor). Add the cockles and cover. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the cockles pop open. If you notice there are a few not opening, give the pasta a good stir, re-cover, and cook for another minute or two. At this point the pasta should be al dente, and the cockles should be open. Turn off the heat and stir in the juice from the other half of the lemon and the chopped parsley. Bon Appetit! And stay scary.



  1. Miriam
    October 18

    Fantastic recipe feature – love the recipe and food and prop styling. Wondering if there is a way to offer followers a way to print out your recipe in a simpler format? Right now this recipe takes up about 11 pages if I try printing.

    • Kelsey
      October 19

      Hi Miriam, That’s a great point! Right now I use the simplest recipe format, but I will look into this! Thanks :)

  2. I remember reading that bit from Macbeth in high school clear as day! Perfect accompaniment for a Halloween recipe post :)

    • Kelsey
      October 19

      Thanks Sarah :) xoxo

  3. Well that’s a spooky pasta!! I’ve never had squid ink pasta … does it really have a seafood-y taste to it?

    • Kelsey
      October 23

      More like a subtle seafood backnote I’d say? You can really only taste it when it’s on its on though. With a normal marinara sauce or something, you couldn’t taste it I wouldn’t think. xoxo

  4. October 21

    Gorgeous photos. And those plates!!!

    • Kelsey
      October 23

      Thanks Mimi! xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *