Pasta and beans with mussels, “Pasta fagioli e cozze” in Italian, is a traditional Neapolitan pasta dish that pairs beans and mussels in a “soupy” pasta dish. Absolutely comforting and fabulously delicious.
- 2 pounds (1 kg) mussels
- 1 large can or jar of cannellini beans
- 200 g cherry/grape tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp evo oil
- Pinch chili flakes
- A handful fresh parsley leaves
- 280 g short pasta like mafalde corte, mixed shape pasta, ditalini
For the mussels:
Clean the mussels well, and wash them under cold running water. Discard any that are open and don’t close when you tap them.
Place in a large saute pan, drizzle a 1/4 cup of cold water in, cover with a lid and turn the heat on medium/high. Shake the pan once in a while and cook for a few minutes or until most of the mussels are open, about 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and with a slotted spoon transfer the mussels to a large bowl. Discard the mussels that are closed, and remove the mussels from the shell, leaving some in the shell for plating and presentation..
Strain the pan juices through a fine mesh and cover the mussels with the strained liquid.
For the beans:
Wash the beans under cold running water. Transfer a couple table spoonful to a blender. Add a tsp of evo oil and some of the mussels liquid. Puree until creamy. Set aside.
For the sauce:
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half or quarters. Mince the parsley.
In a large sauté pan, add evo oil, garlic, and chili flakes. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, then add the cherry tomatoes and the beans, and stir. Sauté for 5 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary. Top with parsley.
Have a large pot of salted water on boil. Add your pasta and cook for half the cooking time.
Add the mussel water to the pan with the bean and tomato sauce, plus a ladle of pasta water.
With a slotted spoon remove the pasta from the water and place it in the pan with the sauce over medium/high heat.
Stirring often, continue cooking the pasta in the liquid. When it is starting to thicken, add the creamy beans and the mussels. Blend well. If it seems to dry add more pasta water. Cook for the remaining half of the time recommended on the pasta package. Taste to see it is at the desired texture and seasoning, adjust if needed.
Finish with a drizzle of evo oil, some minced parsley, and black pepper.