Cavatelli with mussels

If you cant find cavatelli pasta for Gennaro Contaldos recipe, try using orecchiette instead perfect for absorbing the mussels and tomato juices
By Gennaro Contaldo
Cavatelli with mussels
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 800 g live mussels, in their shells
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 400 g canned chopped plum tomatoes
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ¼ red chillies, finely chopped
  • 300 g cavatelli pasta
  • handfuls parsley, finely chopped


1. Clean the mussels under cold running water, removing the hairy beards and discard any that have broken shells or that do not close when tapped against a hard surface.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large lidded saucepan. Add the anchovy, capers and garlic, and lightly fry for a minute.

3. Add the chopped tomatoes, oregano, chilli and mussels. Stir well, partially cover with a lid and cook on a medium heat for about 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water until almost tender, but still retaining some bite.

5. Remove the opened mussels and discard the shells (keeping a few in their shells to garnish). Discard any mussels that havent opened. Return the shelled mussels to the sauce.

6. Drain the pasta, reserving a little cooking water and tip the pasta into the tomato and mussel sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water.

7. Continue to cook the pasta in the sauce until it is cooked through.

8. Serve immediately, sprinkled with parsley and garnished with a few of the unshelled mussels.

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