Pasta with beans and mussels

Pasta with beans and mussels finished dish

Pasta with beans and mussels finished dish

Napoli crestPasta con fagioli e cozze.  From Naples. This is a variation on the classic Neapolitan dish of pasta and beans. The pasta is cooked in the sauce which makes it very tasty. Serves 4.

  • 700g mussels, cleaned
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 50 ml white wine
  • 450g cooked cannellini beans (You can use canned if you like)
  • 200g chopped tomatoes
  • 200g short pasta such as ditali, gnochetti sardi etc
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Red chilli to taste, fresh or dried
Pasta with beans and mussels ingredients

Pasta with beans and mussels ingredients

Soften the garlic in a little olive oil. Add the mussels and the wine, cover and cook over a high heat until the mussels have opened. About 5 minutes

Pasta with beans and mussels opening the mussels

Pasta with beans and mussels opening the mussels

Remove the mussels from their shells and strain and reserve the cooking liquid.

Pasta with beans and mussels cooking the pasta

Pasta with beans and mussels cooking the pasta

Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the beans. Stir in the tomatoes, the reserved cooking liquid and the stock and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until it is done (refer to the packet for cooking times).

Remove from the heat, stir in the mussels and sprinkle with the chopped parsley and chilli

Red pepper and aubergine carbonara

Serves 4.

Red pepper and aubergine carbonara ingredients

  • 320g gnocchetti di sardi
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut anto small dice
  • 1 medium aubergine, cut into small dice
  • 1 stick celery, cut into small dice
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 1 whole small chilli
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 80g parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Fry the pepper, aubergine, celery, garlic cloves marjoram and chilli in half the olive oil for about 15 minute.
  2. Remove from the heat and discard the garlic and chilli. Keep warm
  3. Beat together the eggs, cheese and the rest of the oil.
  4. Cook the pasta until al dente
  5. Add the drained pasta to the vegetables and mix well
  6. Finally, add the egg mixture and stir thoroughly.

Red pepper and aubergine carbonara

Gnocchetti sardi with mussels

This is a semi-soup. Be careful when adding the cooking liquid from the pasta, you don’t want it to be too sloppy.  Serves 4

Gnocchetti sardi with mussels ingredients

Gnocchetti sardi with mussels ingredients

  • 400 grams  mussels — thoroughly cleaned
  • 200 grams  Gnocchetti sardi
  • 1 clove  garlic — finely chopped
  • a few chilli flakes
  • olive oil
  • 4 sprigs  parsley — finely chopped
  1. Put the mussels in a pan along with a little olive oil, the garlic, parsley and chilli
  2. Cover and cook over a high heat until the mussels open. About 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the mussels, reserving a few for decoration, and return to the pan.
  3. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water until al dente.
  4. Drain the pasta, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid.
  5. Add the pasta and the reserved cooking liquid to the mussels.
  6. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes and serve.
Gnocchetti sardi with mussels finished dish

Gnocchetti sardi with mussels finished dish

Gnocchetti sardi with beans and pancetta

Bacon, beans and tomato go really well together.  I think borlotti beans are called pinto in the states. I used pancetta but any good quality, dry-cured bacon would do just as well.

Serves 4

Gnocchetti sardi with beans ingredients

Gnocchetti sardi with beans ingredients

  • 300 grams gnocchetti sardi (small shells)
  • 200 grams fresh borlotti beans (or any other kind you can find – it will be much quicker if you use tinned beans but fresh give a much better texture)
  • 200 grams pancetta — cubed
  • 1 medium onion
  • 300 grams tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped – tinned are also good
  • 1 handful fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • 40 grams parmesan cheese
  1. Fry the pancetta until coloured.
  2. Chop the parsley, basil and onion together. Add to the pan with the pancetta
  3. After a few minutes, add the tomatoes
  4. Add the beans and cook over a medium heat until the beans are tender. (30 or 40 minutes for fresh)
  5. Cook the gnoccheti until al dente
  6. Mix with the bean sauce, top with parmesan and serve

PS If you are using tinned beans, cook the sauce for 15-20 minutes and add the beans at the end.

Gnocchetti sardi with beans finished dish

Gnocchetti sardi with beans finished dish