Sunday, 19 June 2011

Freshly Made Linguine with Mussels, Tomato Sauce & Pesto

Freshly Made Linguine with Mussels, Tomato Sauce & Pesto
There is nothing more satisfying than making your own pasta; the mussels, tomato sauce and pesto compliment this dish perfectly.

Serves 4
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
For the linguine
340g 00 pasta flour
12 egg yolks
30ml cold water
15ml extra virgin olive oil
2g salt
Semolina for dusting (optional)

For the pesto
60g/2 ½ oz fresh basil leaves
50g/2oz pine nuts, toasted
50g/2oz parmesan, grated
1 clove of garlic, peeled
75ml/3 fl oz extra virgin olive oil

For the mussels & tomato sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
2kg/4lb 4oz mussels, cleaned, beards removed (discard any mussels that stay open after rinsing)
150ml/5fl oz white wine
2 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
800g/1lb 12oz canned tomatoes
6 fresh basil leaves (plus a few extra for serving)
Salt & pepper freshly ground


1.  For the linguine, pour the flour into a mound onto a flat surface and make a well in the centre. Add the egg yolks, olive oil, water & salt into the well and gradually mix with either a blunt knife or a folk. When the dough has become a thick paste use your hands to incorporate more of the flour.

2.  You can sieve any remaining flour and use the sifted flour while you knead the dough to stop it sticking to the surface and to your hands, but be careful not to make the dough too dry. Knead until well blended and the dough is soft and flexible. Don't worry if you haven't used up all the flour.

3.  Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

4.  Divide the fresh pasta into four and keep three portions wrapped in cling film while you roll and stuff one quarter. This prevents the pasta from drying out. Roll out the pasta into a long, wide strip about 1mm in thickness, using a machine.   

5.  Attach the cutting attachment to the pasta machine flouring it well.  Run the sheets through the machine cutting them into linguine.  Dust the linguine with semolina and place on a plate.  Set aside.

6.  For the pesto, blend the basil, pine nuts, parmesan and garlic in a food processor to a puree.  Add the olive oil and continue to blend until you have a paste.

7.  For the mussels and tomato sauce, heat 1 ½ tbsp of oil in a large frying pan with a lid.  Fry the onions and celery until softened, 1-2 minutes.  Now add the wine and mussels and cover with the lid, cook for 2-3 minutes until the mussels have opened.

8.  Empty the mussels into a colander, reserving the cooking liquid in a bowl.  Discard the shells from half of the mussels and set aside.

9.  Return the large frying pan to the heat and add 1 ½ tbsp of olive oil.  Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds.  Add the cooking liquid, tinned tomatoes and basil and bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by one third.  Season to taste and stir in all the mussels.

10.  Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the linguine, separate the strands with your fingers.  Cook the linguine for 2 minutes, then drain.

11.  Stir in the pasta into the mussels and tomato sauce.

12.  To serve, spoon the linguine and mussels onto four plates and top each with a spoonful of pesto and a few basil leaves.  Enjoy!

Cooks tips
v You can prepare the pasta days in advance and store in the fridge.

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