Pasta con Cozze e Fagioli ~ We first had this pasta dish in Tuscany at Badia a Coltibuono, but found out later it is actually a very popular dish in Puglia. I used fresh cavatelli in my dish, although you any dried penne, tubetti, or any similar sized dried pasta would work just as well. I also used canned pomodorini tomatoes for the dish in the photos, but any good quality crushed or strained tomatoes would suffice. I have seen chickpeas used more frequently in Puglia but I do prefer cannellini beans myself.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 1 1/2 Cups Cooked Cannellini Beans
- 2 to 2 1/2 Pounds Mussels, Scrubbed
- 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
- 1/4 Cup Extra-virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Coarsely Chopped
- 2 Cups Canned Tomatoes
- 1/4 Cup Italian Parsley, Finely Chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Chopped Basil
- Salt and Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 Pound Pasta Of Choice
- Place mussels in a large pan with the wine and set over high heat.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until all mussels have opened.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool, and strain cooking liquid through several layers of cheesecloth and set aside.
- When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove flesh and discard the shells.
- Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
- In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add garlic.
- When garlic is soft but not brown, add the tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
- Stir in the cooked beans and simmer gently while the pasta cooks.
- Cook your pasta of choice in boiling water until it is almost cooked through.
- Drain the pasta and add the bean and tomato mixture.
- Add the mussels and strained mussel liquid.
- Stir over low heat 5 minutes, then add parsley, basil, and salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.
- Serve immediately.