What to Cook Tonight: Mussels and Bucatini Pasta


Ursula Ferrigno’s Mussels and Bucatini Pasta (Bucatini e cozza)
A simple but memorable combination enjoyed in Siracusa when the mussels are the sweetest in flavour. Long pasta is always favoured for seafood sauces.

Serves 4

350g dried bucatini or linguine
a generous handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mussel sauce
10 ripe plum tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp crushed dried chilli (peperoncino)
40 mussels, cleaned and debearded
1 rib celery, finely chopped
20 Gaeta olives, stoned
50ml dry white wine
a handful of basil leaves, roughly torn
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce, immerse the tomatoes in a bowl of boiling water for 10 seconds to loosen the skins, then drain and peel away the skins. Chop the tomato flesh.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based sauté pan. Add the garlic and chilli and sauté until lightly golden. Add the mussels, cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and cook for 4-6 minutes until the shells have opened. Discard any mussels that remain closed.

Meanwhile, add the pasta to a large pan of rolling boiling salted water and cook until al dente.

Add the tomatoes, celery, olives and wine to the mussels and cook until the wine has evaporated, about 1 minute. Season and add the basil. Drain the pasta and toss with the parsley and extra virgin olive oil. Combine with the mussels and eat immediately.


Extracted from Flavours of Sicily by Ursula Ferrigno (Ryland Peters & Small, approx €24), out now. Photography by David Munns.



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