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Pesto Octopus in Squid Ink Pasta

Posted in : Main Dish, Seafood on by : Barbie Gminder

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It’s. That. TIME. Happy Halloween, my friends! I know it’s the time of year for Halloween parties, trick-or-treating, snacks, and small bites, but I wanted to come up with something equally spooky yet more substantial for a dinner. I struggled a bit trying to figure this one out but it finally came to me while I was out of town. There I was in my hotel room, binge watching the Food Network and I saw it…squid ink pasta. Perfect! But what would take that to the next level? Tentacles.

ALL the tentacles.

I made my own pesto because why not? It’s super easy to make. I found this really neat photo chart on Pinterest that has not only a simple, classic pesto recipe but 6 other variations. You can use your favorite store bought pesto for this if you’d rather not get into all that and I’m sure it will be just as tasty. I also thought that pesto would go well with the octopus without covering up the black pasta too much. I was definitely right in that assumption.

It was surprisingly difficult to find squid ink pasta. I don’t know, I thought you could just go to your local supermarket and find it? After I exhausted all of my efforts driving store to store, I consulted Google and found out you can pick it up at World Market or even order it on Amazon. You boil it just like regular pasta, there’s really nothing different about it other than the color. Honestly, it’s so silky looking out of the package that I didn’t even want to cook it. BIG aesthetic.

Since I couldn’t afford to take a trip to Innsmouth for fresh octopus, I bought a pack of octopus from my local Stop & Shop. I’ll try anything when it comes to food and even though I’d eaten octopus before, it was still a little disconcerting…staring at me through the packaging. Yikes, definitely perfect for a creepy factor.

If you can get past and the traumatic visions of Japanese cartoon girls and tentacles paired with the fact that we don’t really eat too much octopus in America, it’s delicious. Power through, it’s worth it. Wild mushrooms, garlic, and pesto go so well in this super savory pasta dish. I am really happy I made this. Mike not only ate the leftovers the next day, but requested I make it again soon (and he’s REALLY picky about weird food, trust).

Give this spooky dish a try. It’s perfect for a Halloween themed dinner or a delicious dinner for any occasion! Pair this with my favorite sweet wine ever, Choya Plum Wine. It tastes like falling in love. Cthulhu would be proud.

Pesto Octopus in Squid Ink Pasta

Recipe by Barbie Gminder


  • 1 pack squid ink pasta

  • 1 pack frozen octopus, thawed

  • 1 cup pesto

  • 2 cups mushrooms

  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • Parmesan (for topping)


  • Boil octopus in water with garlic and a splash of vinegar for 25 minutes
  • Blanch octopus (place into bowl of ice water) then cut into chunks and rings
  • Saute mushrooms, onions, garlic, and octopus in butter for 7-8 mins on med heat
  • Boil pasta according to package, strain
  • Toss pasta with pesto and served topped with the octopus, mushroom, onion, and grated parmesan

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