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Spaghetti with mussels in their shell

(Spaghetti con le arselle nel loro guscio)

  • 400 grams of spaghetti
  • 1 Kg of mussels (take care they are not breeding mussels, otherwise renounce to prepare this recipe)
  • salt
  • a finely chopped mixture composed by:
    5 garlic cloves
    a small bunch of parsley
    4 spoons of olive oil
    3 hot chili peppers
  • a blended mixture composed by:
    125 grams of crab pulp
    90 grams of sea urchin pulp
    a pinch of oregano
    6 leaves of basil
    2 glasses of white wine
    a pinch of table salt
    1/2 Kg of red tomatoes cut in pieces
    parsley not finely chopped
Put the mussels in fresh water together with a handful of kitchen salt, for three hours, in order to clean them. After this time rinse them very well by rubbing them between the hands, in order to eliminate any trace of sand. This is a very important operation, the remaining parts of sand underneath the teeth are sufficient to make this recipe become unbearable, a recipe which has a gorgeous flavor and taste.
After this rinsing operation take a pan, put the oil and the chopped mixture together with the crumbled chili peppers, fry this stuff lightly over a blazing fire until the garlic becomes fair, turning very often in order to avoid any attached or burned parts, otherwise the taste becomes bitter.
When garlic and parsley (normally after 2-3 minutes) will be browned at the right point, pour in the pan the blended mixture, let it boil, let the wine evaporate, add the tomato, then, put the mussels (not too much drained); then, always over a brisky heat, cover with a lid and cook until the mussels will be all opened, 3-4 minutes.
Cook the spaghetti, strain them without drain them too much, put them in the plates, garnish them with the mussels sauce and with the same mussels with their shell, sprinkle with parsley, serve and eat immediately.
One Kg of mussels, as indicated in this recipe, is enough to make this pasta become a single course and also quite nourishing.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati


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