So I created this dish for him and he’s completely hooked. The spiciness of the rich tomato and fennel sauce compliments the white wine steamed mussels so well and it really is perfect for Summer Al Fresco dining.
Serve this pasta on a hot Summers evening with a glass of your favourite chilled white wine, extra Parmesan cheese and a qood squeeze of fresh lemon juice and you wont be disappointed.
This recipe Serves 4
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 baby fennel bulb, finely chopped
a pinch of dried chilli flakes
½ cup (125ml) tomato passata
Salt and black pepper
Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
300-400g fresh mussels, cleaned (discard any mussels that are already opened)
¼ cup (60ml) white wine
400g linguine, cooked according to packet instructions
Grated Parmesan, to serve
Crusty bread, to serve
Lemon wedges to serve
Heat a little olive oil in a heavy based saucepan and gently fry onion, garlic, fennel and chili for a few minutes or until onions are soft and translucent.
Add tomato puree, salt and freshly ground pepper, lower heat and allow to cook gently for about 30 minutes or until the sauce has reduced slightly.
Meanwhile, add a little extra olive oil to a heavy based pot and once hot add mussels together with the wine. Cover with lid and steam for about 3-4 minutes or until mussels have opened.
Strain mussels, retaining their juices and discard any that haven’t opened yet.
Remove half the mussels from their shells and add to the sauce together with the strained mussel liquid.
Bring sauce to the boil, check seasoning and toss in pre-cooked linguine, together with the leftover mussels in their shells.
Garnish with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan and serve immediately with fresh lemon wedges and crusty bread.
This post was especially developed and written for The Pretty Blog
Photographer: Catherine Mac
Recipe development and stylist: Luisa Farelo Hayes