Black Handkerchief Pasta with Seafood & Tomato Sauce

Recipes | Pan-Frying | Pasta Serves 6 Black Handkerchief Pasta with Seafood & Tomato Sauce

Stracci (meaning ‘rags’) is the Italian name for this style of pasta. It’s traditionally made from the off cuts after making ravioli or a similar filled pasta. Handkerchief pasta is perhaps a more appropriate name as, if the dough is passed through the pasta machine enough times, the pasta ends up with a lovely silken texture – like a silk hanky.


⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil 
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
300g Blue Mussels, scrubbed and debearded
100ml dry white wine
450g Cuttlefish, cleaned, tube cut into strips, tentacles halved
450g green Prawns, peeled, deveined and roughly chopped
500g cherry tomatoes, halved 
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Black Ink Pasta Dough 
500g tipo 00 flour, plus extra for dusting (see notes)
2 tablespoons cuttlefish ink 
2 tablespoons water
4 large eggs, lightly beaten


Make Pasta: place flour in a bowl, making a well in the centre. Combine cuttlefish ink and water and stir into eggs, then tip into the well and mix the flour into the liquid to form a firm dough. Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for a few minutes, until smooth. Cover and set aside to rest for 15 minutes.

Pass dough through a pasta machine several times, starting on the widest setting and reducing the setting by one notch each time until you’ve reached the second last setting. If the sheet becomes too long to handle, cut it in half and continue. Dust with flour and set aside on a clean tea towel.

Heat half the oil in a frying pan, add onion, garlic and salt and cook for 5-10 minutes, until soft. Add Mussels and wine, increase heat, cover and cook for a minute or 2 until they start to open. As each shell opens, remove from the pan to a bowl. When all shells have opened, remove pan from heat, remove Mussels from shells and pour any cooking juices over them. Set aside.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.

Return frying pan to high heat, add remaining oil, then Cuttlefish and Prawns and fry for a minute, tossing to coat well in oil. 

Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium and cook for a few minutes until tomatoes start to break down.

Meanwhile, drop pasta into the boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes, until just tender. Scoop pasta out of the water, add to the frying pan with parsley, Mussels and cooking juices and toss well to coat in the sauce, adding a little of the pasta cooking water if necessary to give a creamy consistency.


Tipo 00 flour is a very finely milled Italian flour, ideal for making fresh pasta, use plain flour if unavailable.

Alternative species:

Octopus, Prawns, Squid, Vongole.

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