Small pasta tubes with mussels
Nonna Elena’s recipe has been handed down to every member of our family and you would think they have all put their own twist on it – wrong! Every one of my aunts and uncles cook it the same way and it is de-lic-ious! Our uncle Mario has two restaurants: one in Bari town and one in Polignano sur mare – just near our family farm and it is on the beach! Ai due ghiottoni restaurants are a ‘must go to’. Nonna Elena gave the chef her recipe and they have used it for the past 55 years! Winner winner fishy dinner!
This is one of my brother’s favourite dishes – definitely in his top 5! As soon as he was seated in my uncle’s restaurant (an incredible treat for the kids from London!) the words would trickle out of his salivating mouth ‘tubettini con le cozze per favore’!
This is one of Puglia’s most famous and traditional seafood dishes and originally comes from Taranto.
400gr tubettini pasta (little tubes)
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, chopped
A little dried, crushed chili pepper
1 glass of dry white wine –Terre Di San Vito is best for this
Salt and black pepper
A handful of chopped parsley
Preparing the dish:
Wash the mussels well under running water and pull out the beards (the stringy bits hanging out of the shell). When you have cleaned them all, leave them in a bowl of cold water.
Bring a pan of water (for the pasta) to the boil and add about a tablespoon of salt. When boiling, add the pasta tubes.
At this point you need to begin to prepare the mussels.
In a large pan, on a medium heat, add about 2 tablespoons of Terre Di San Vito’s extra virgin olive oil and the chopped garlic.
After a couple of minutes, once the garlic is slightly golden (do not let it burn)add the cherry tomatoes.
Once the garlic and tomatoes have softened (about 4-5 minutes)add the white wine and bring to a boil so the alcohol evaporates.
Taste and season with salt and pepper then add the mussels.
Cover the pan with a lid and leave it for a couple of minutes so the mussels have time to open.
By now, the pasta should be ready – take one out and taste it – it should be ‘al dente’ which means that it has a bit of a bite to it – not mushy!
Strain the pasta, but keep a little of the liquid back in case you need to loosen the sauce.
Add the pasta to the mussels, along with the chopped parsley.
Mix well on a low heat for a minute so that you combine all the flavours and serve.
Place into a large serving dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with a little drizzle of our Terre Di San Vito’s extra virgin olive oil. I am sure you already have one of our beautiful terracotta jars on your dinner table!
The sauce should be pinkish-red and a little watery.
This dish can also be served in a thick tomato sauce – a controversial talking point in our family – some love it red some white – you decide!
Always serve this with a bottle of our fabulous Terre Di San Vito rose wine Mosi