A scrumptious and deliciously rich pasta dish that works perfectly as a starter.
Wine Suggestion: A textured white works best here; old-world minerality rather than bright fruit-forward styles. The Casal di Serra Verdicchio from Umani Ronchi in the Marche (central Italy) combines stonefruit flavours, hints of wild-flowers on the nose and a crisp yellow apple finish and goes with the richness and depth of the pasta.
Ditaloni, mussels & white wine – serves 4
- 1kg small mussels, scrubbed
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 200g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp extra virgin oil
- 125ml white wine
- 165ml double cream
- 300g ditaloni (or similar) pasta
Heat half the butter with the oil, then add the garlic and mussels. Pour in the wine; season, then cover and cook over a high heat until the mussels have opened. Drain the mussels and reserve the cooking liquid. Remove the mussels from the shells; discard the shells and any mussels that haven’t opened.
Heat the rest of the butter in a pan and add the mussel juices and the cream. Cook gently to reduce to a rich and creamy sauce. Then add the mussels and parsley.
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, then drain and add to the sauce. Toss together over a low heat, and serve.
(Original recipe from Italian Two Easy by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, Clarkson Potter, 2006.)