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Antonio Carluccio   Antonio Carluccio

Cavatelli with Mussels -
Cavatelli con le Cozze

From Antonio Carluccio’s Southern Italian Feast

  A specialty of Puglia and particularly of Bari, where cavatelli are still handmade for special occasions from hard durum wheat semolina flour and water. Try buying cavatelli from a good Italian delicatessen, or substitute orrechiette (little ear) or penne. As it is quite soupy, this pasta dish may be eaten with a spoon.

Serves 4

2 1/4 pounds mussels
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 small chili, finely diced
11 ounces cherry tomatoes
1 small bunch of flat leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
14 ounces cavatelli pasta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  Scrub the mussels thoroughly under cold running water, pulling out the beards and discarding any open mussels that do not close when tapped on a work surface. Put the mussels in a large pan with 2 tablespoons of water, cover and cook over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until all the shells are open (discard any that remain closed). Remove the shells from half the mussels. Strain the cooking juices through a very fine sieve and reserve.

  Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and chili and fry gently until the garlic is softened but not brown. Cut some of the cherry tomatoes in half. Add the halves and the whole tomatoes to the pan and fry until softened. Add the mussels, their cooking juices and the parsley and heat through gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water until just tender, al dente. Drain and stir into the mussel sauce. I like to pour a stream of extra-virgin olive oil onto each portion for extra flavor.

Cookbook available in January 2000.
Call 1-800-749-2290 for more information.

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