Halloween Eyeball Pasta

Whenever I looked at the calendar during those past weeks, I was shocked to see that it was already September. It was just too hot, too dry, and it certainly didn’t feel like autumn, at all. While we had a cool and rainy August, September turned out unbearably hot this year. It just didn’t feel right to post anything Halloween related, yet.

I missed the feeling of autumn, when the heat of summer comes to an end and it feels like things are slowing down just a bit.

Yesterday, that finally happened. There was a chill in the air, the sky grey and overcast, and at night, I snuggled into my blanket with a pleasant shiver that finally promised the arrival of fall.

Now it feels appropriate to post about Halloween!

a plate with Halloween shaped pasta and eyeballs made from mozzarella on a dark background

I can never decide whether my favourite holiday of the year would be Halloween or Christmas. (Let’s be fair, it’s probably Christmas, but not by much!) I await both holidays with excitement, spend hours and days to decorate, cook and bake and – needless to say – I always dress for the occasion.

So today I will post my first Halloween recipe on this blog. How exciting! It’s not quite a recipe, more a tutorial, but it’s something that has tradition in this household and that I enjoy making every year. It’s simple, quick, delicious, and just the right amount of spooky: Halloween Eyeball Pasta.

a plate with Halloween shaped pasta and eyeballs made from mozzarella on a dark background

Yes. Yes. You have seen this before. This one is all over Pinterest, Instagram and what have you, and it has been all over it for years now. You cut stuffed olives into slices and put them on mozzarella balls, then serve with a marinara sauce over pasta. That’s it, right?

Well, this Halloween Eyeball Pasta comes with a twist that makes it a little more realistic.

a plate with Halloween shaped pasta and eyeballs made from mozzarella on a dark background

While I started out exactly like you’d see it in many posts, I always found that the resulting eyeballs looked really just like that: olive slices on mozzarella balls. It just didn’t look real and spooky enough to me.

a plate with Halloween shaped pasta and eyeballs made from mozzarella on a dark background

a plate with Halloween shaped pasta and eyeballs made from mozzarella on a dark background

Now, I am trying to keep this family-friendly: When I say “real”, I do not mean “graphic, gory and gross”. While I do enjoy this kind of thing once in a while, my food is not allowed to look too gory or realistic. But I feel I have found a middle ground. Something that doesn’t look like mozzarella balls with olive slices on top, you know?

a plate with Halloween shaped pasta and eyeballs made from mozzarella on a dark background

The trick is to hollow out the mozzarella with a piping tip first. Piping tips are such a wonderful tool for so many tasks in the kitchen. I love them so much! But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’m using a generic brand of Halloween shaped pasta here (I think I got it from Lidl, and no, I’m not getting paid for this). Normal penne or rigatoni will do just fine.

And did you know that there are varieties of basil that are purple and black? They are just divine for Halloween dishes like this or Halloween cheese platters (*chef’s kiss*) and I grow them in my little garden. I haven’t found purple or black basil at the store, yet, but it’s pretty easy to buy a bunch of seeds and grow them at home in a garden or on the windowsill. I can’t recommend purple basil enough for Halloween dishes.

But you’re still waiting for the recipe and don’t want to read through pages of text, do you?

So here it comes:

a plate with Halloween shaped pasta and eyeballs made from mozzarella on a dark background

Halloween Eyeball Pasta


yields 2-3 portions

ingredients / supplies:

  • 14 large, green olives, pitted
  • 14 black olives, pitted
  • 14 mozzarella balls
  • 400 g (14 oz) marinara sauce or arrabiata sauce of your choice (I use arrabiata sauce, because I like it spicy)
  • a bunch of fresh basil (I used a variety of purple basil, but green will do just fine)
  • 250 g  (8.8 oz) uncooked Halloween shaped pasta
  • a large, round piping tip with an opening diameter of 12 to 14 millimeters (for example Wilton’s 1A or 2A tip – I used a 12 mm tip)
  • a medium, round piping tip with an opening diameter of 5 to 8 millimeters (for example Wilton’s #10 – I used a 6 mm tip)
  • a sharp knife


Drain your olives and mozzarella balls and pat them dry.

Using the large piping tip, create a little cavity in the mozzarella balls by punching out a hole the size of the tip opening. Do not punch through the whole mozzarella ball. The cavity should be still shallow enough to hold your olive-pupil.

Cut the black and green olives in halves lengthwise. Now use the opening of the larger tip to punch out larger circles from the green olives for the iris and the smaller tip opening to punch out the pupils from the black olives. Using the opening of the smaller tip, punch out another hole in the middle of the punched out green olive circles for the pupil.

Assemble the eyeballs by fitting the small black olive pupil into the hole in the green olive iris. Once the pupil is done, put it into the cavity of your mozzarella ball and – tadaa! – you’re done! Easy, wasn’t it?

Now cook your pasta according to the instructions on the package or until al dente.

Heat up the marinara or arrabiata sauce of your choice.

I do like to chop up some fresh basil and mix it under the sauce when it’s done.

Top your cooked pasta with the marinara or arrabiata sauce, place the eyeballs on top, garnish with some basil, and you’re done!

Now serve your spooky Halloween Eyeball Pasta!

By the way, you can use your mozzarella eyeballs for plenty of things. Either you proceed to cook your eyeball pasta, or you can wrap them in prosciutto and use them for an eery, creepy Char-Boo-terie board (or, to put it simply: a cheese platter). But this will be a post for another week – so stay tuned, like and subscribe if you like, and stay spooky!

a plate with Halloween shaped pasta and eyeballs made from mozzarella on a dark background

auf Deutsch, bitte!

ergibt zwei bis drei Portionen

Zutaten / Zubehör:

  • 14 große, entsteinte, grüne Oliven
  • 14 entsteinte schwarze Oliven
  • 14 Mozzarellabällchen
  • 400 g Tomatensauce oder Arrabiata Sauce nach Wahl (ich nehme hier gerne Arrabiata)
  • eine Handvoll frischer Basilikum (ich benutze hier violetten Basilikum aus meinem Garten, aber grüner Basilikum aus dem Supermarkt tut es natürlich auch)
  • 250 g ungekochte Pasta in Halloween-Form
  • eine große, runde Spritztülle mit einer Öffnung von 12 bis 14 mm (z.B. Wiltons 1A oder 2A Spritztülle – ich benutze hier 1A)
  • eine mittelgroße, runde Spritztülle mit einer Öffnung von ca. 5-8 mm (z.B. Wiltons #10 – ich benutze hier eine Tülle mit 6 mm Öffnung)
  • ein scharfes Messer


Die Oliven und Mozzarella-Bällchen abtropfen lassen und danach etwas trocken tupfen.

Mit der großen Spritztülle nun eine kleine Mulde im Mozzarella-Bällchen formen, indem man mit die Öffnung der Tülle zum Ausstechen eines kleinen Lochs benutzt. Hier nicht durch das ganze Bällchen stechen. Die Mulde sollte recht flach bleiben – gerade so tief, dass die Oliven-Pupille hinein passt.

Die Oliven der Länge nach halbieren. Mit der Öffnung der großen Spritztülle nun größere Kreise aus den grünen Oliven für die Iris ausstechen und mit der kleineren Spritztüllen-Öffnung die Pupillen aus den schwarzen Oliven ausstechen. Mit der Öffnung der größeren Tülle wird nun mittig ein Loch aus den ausgestochenen Kreisen der grünen Oliven für die Pupille ausgestanzt.

Nun werden die Augäpfel zusammen gesetzt, indem die kleine, schwarze Oliven-Pupille in das Loch der größeren, grünen Oliven-Iris gesetzt wird. Sobald die Pupille fertig ist, wird sie in die Mulde des Mozzarella-Bällchens gesetzt und – Tadaa!!! – der Augapfel ist fertig. Einfach, oder?

Als nächstes die Pasta gemäß den Anweisungen auf der Verpackung kochen oder bis sie al dente ist.

Die Tomaten- oder Arrabiata-Sauce nach Wahl kochen.

Ich persönlich mag es, noch frischen Basilikum zu hacken und unter die Sauce zu mischen, wenn diese fertig ist.

Auf Tellern anrichten. Hierfür die Sauce auf die gekochte Pasta geben und die Mozzarella-Augäpfel darauf verteilen. Mit Basilikum garnieren – und fertig!

Die gruselige Halloween Augäpfel Pasta sofort servieren.

Übrigens, die Mozzarella Augäpfel kann man für viele Gerichte benutzen. Entweder für die Halloween Eyeball Pasta, wie sie hier beschrieben ist – oder man kann sie in Serrano- oder Prosciuttoschinken wickeln und für eine gruselige Halloween-Käseplatte verwenden. Aber das ist ein Thema für einen zukünftigen Post in ein paar Wochen – Dranbleiben lohnt sich also.

a plate with Halloween shaped pasta and eyeballs made from mozzarella on a dark background

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