Chefs' Recipes

Napier Quarter's squid-ink spaghetti with cuttlefish, green pea and chilli

A near-perfect summertime pasta.

By Eileen Horsnell
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking (plus resting, chilling)
  • Serves 6
  • Print
"This dish was one of the first pastas I put on the menu at Napier Quarter," says chef Eileen Horsnell. "It quickly became a local favourite. It always makes an appearance in the warmer months. Use any seafood you like with it – the world is your oyster."


  • 18 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 250 ml (1 cup) olive oil
  • 7 small cuttlefish (1kg), with tentacles, cleaned, cut into 5mm-wide strips
  • 3 birdseye chillies, halved, seeds removed, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 150 gm fresh peas (about 320gm unpodded)
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • ¼ bunch bronze fennel (see note), to serve
Pasta dough
  • 500 gm (3⅓ cups) plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 30 gm squid ink (see note)


  • 1
    For pasta dough, place flour and ½ tsp fine salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add remaining ingredients and mix until a dough forms, adding extra water 1 tsp at a time if the dough is too stiff. Transfer to a bench and knead until smooth and elastic (5 minutes). Cover and refrigerate (1 hour). Cut dough into 6 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, keeping remainder covered, flatten, then roll through a pasta machine, starting at the first setting. Roll and laminate dough a few times on the first setting, then reduce settings notch by notch, rolling and folding dough as you go, until 2mm thick. Trim pasta sheets into manageable pieces, roll through the spaghetti attachment, then hang until dry (20 minutes). Store in a floured container until ready to use.
  • 2
    Cook unpeeled garlic in olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat until very tender but not browned (40-45 minutes). Drain, then squeeze out garlic. Discard skins and reserve oil.
  • 3
    Heat 50ml reserved garlic oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add cuttlefish, chilli, wine and garlic, and sauté, tossing until cuttlefish is just cooked (2-2½ minutes).
  • 4
    Meanwhile, cook spaghetti and peas in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until pasta is al dente and peas are bright green (2 minutes). Drain, reserving a little pasta water. Add spaghetti and 1-2 tbsp reserved pasta water to cuttlefish mixture and toss to combine. Working quickly (pasta and cuttlefish can easily overcook), add parsley and lemon juice, season to taste and toss to combine. Drizzle with garlic oil (reserve remainder for another use) and top with bronze fennel to serve.


Bronze fennel is available from selected greengrocers, but may need to be ordered ahead. If unavailable, substitute dill. Squid ink is available from select fishmongers and delicatessens.