Babbo’s Black Spaghetti

Babbo Black Spaghetti

I once called Mario Batali’s Babbo Ristorante 27 times in a single day for a reservation. The busy tone and I became good friends.

I have eaten at the famed Greenwich Village eatery on several occasions in the past. But it’s the type of place I can’t seem to get enough of.

All you have is a 5 o’clock reservation on a Tuesday? Sure, I’ll take it.

For the 364 days a year when I can’t score a seat at New York City’s hippest Italian eatery, I live vicariously through the restaurant’s menu by cooking one of their signature dishes — Black Spaghetti. Start with a homemade jalapeño pesto and squid ink spaghetti, sauté fresh garlic in olive oil, add rock shrimp and spicy sopressata, give it all a toss, and let your friends come flocking.


Babbo's Black Spaghetti

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 10 min


For Jalapeño Pesto:

3 cups roughly chopped jalapeño peppers
½ cup sliced (unsalted) almonds
½ cup roughly chopped red onions
½ cup Extra Virgin olive oil

For pasta:

1 pound black spaghetti or linguine, fresh or dry
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup (6 oz.) fresh rock shrimp
1 cup Soppressata, roughly chopped
4 Tablespoons Jalapeño Pesto (recipe above)
1 cup scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


First make the Jalapeño Pesto by adding all of the recipe ingredients to a food processor, adding a pinch of salt and pulsing together until pureed. Set aside. (Note: Any leftover pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to one month.)

Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the black spaghetti and cook just until tender, 6 to 7 minutes.

While the pasta cooks, heat the Extra Virgin olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.

Sauté the garlic, rock shrimp and Sopressata in the olive oil just until the garlic is toasted and the shrimp are cooked through.

Add 4 tablespoons of the reserved Jalapeño Pesto to the pan.

Drain the pasta, add it to the sauté pan and gently toss to evenly coat.

Serve the pasta immediately, garnished with the sliced scallions.

Recipe from Mario Batali's Babbo Ristorante.


  1. 1


    That black spaghetti looks fabulous! The first time I had a squid ink dish was a black squid ink infused risotto. Looked very odd but was fabulous! As for Mario Batali he’s a genius! Once or twice a year when the chilly weather arrives in the fall, I make his Osso Buco from his Babbo cookbook. It’s a fabulous recipe and turns out superb every time! Rich, flavorful, and so perfect with a bottle of rich Italian red wine. Living in Seattle, I don’t get to frequent his restaurants however his dad, Armandino has the most amazing salami shop here, Salumi. The cured meats he produces are over the top incredible. It’s a tiny storefront restaurant too, only open for lunch and is well worth a stop for anyone visiting the Seattle area.

  2. 2


    Thanks so much for your comment, Bryon! Next time I’m in Seattle, I will definitely check out Salumi. Batali’s pizza place here in NYC, Otto, has the most incredible salami/cheese/preserved fruit platters, and the pizza is unbelievably good. It’s well worth the trip!

  3. 3


    Thanks for the recipe Kelly. We tried this out and featured it on our blog and it was really good. DId you really use three cups of jalapenos? We only used three jalapenos total and it was a ton. Thanks again!

  4. 4

    Linda says

    Where oh where would I find the black spaghetti? I have checked whole foods but no luck. Any suggestions on how to order online?
    Love the recipe and am dying to try it. By the way Salumi in Seatle is fantastic.

  5. 5


    Delicious!! I’ve never thought to make this at home but it’s the perfect solution. I have to admit to having worked as a reservationist/hostess/coat check at Babbo for a little while (and loved it!) and can attest to what a tough reservation it is to get ;-) But so worth it!

  6. 6

    Judith Fulton says

    Was looking for the recipe for Noni”s Fried Spaghetti but the page is no linger there. Could you e-mail me the recipe or put it in your blog some others were looking for it also.

    Thank you!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — September 23rd, 2014 @ 4:22 pm

      Hi Judith – I’ve removed that recipe but hope to post a similar one soon!

  7. 7

    Renee says

    I am allergic to seafood…including shell fish. What would be a good substitution?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — May 13th, 2015 @ 11:52 am

      Hi Renee! You could leave out the shrimp and add chicken :)


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