Spaghetti with tomato and mussels pangrattato

This month it’s all about dishes from Puglia, my beloved fatherland. A beautiful culinary rich Italian region, which I’ve been lucky enough to frequently travel to since 1980. Its regional cooking is bursting with organic Mediterranean produce from every angle. Imagine bright coloured vegetables and fruit sold at thousands of markets and street corners; huge faded brown sacks overflowing with dry pulses; small family run supermarkets selling the best in charcuterie and cheese from their deli counters and local butchers and fishmongers daily preparing their produce in front of their customers. Everyone brimming with pride feeding their community with their own produce.

This recipe is inspired by the most southern Puglian mini region, Salento where my family is based. The southern region proudly shares both the Ionic and Adriatic coast, supplying locals with fresh seafood and fish on a daily basis. Mussels are cooked in a number of ways. However, one of my life long faves is baked mussels with a breadcrumb topping – ‘cozze con pangrattato’. I can eat kilos of it at a time, coming up for air now and again. I really enjoy the texture and flavour of the herb crumb combined with the salty mussels. So, I decided to create a pasta dish that encompasses similar flavours and texture. Spaghetti with tomato and mussels pangrattato.

A 30 minute meal wonder that will transport you to the coastline of Puglia wherever you are. Enjoy my lovelies.

Spaghetti with tomato and mussel pangrattato (2/3 people)

  • 50g coarse breadcrumb
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • Olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Chilli flakes
  • 1 tin cherry tomatoes
  • 400g mussels, cleaned and debearded.
  • 50ml dry white wine
  • 250g dry spaghetti
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Spaghetti with tomato and mussel pangrattato (2/3 people)

  • First, we will make the crumb. Drizzle olive oil into a frying pan, add the breadcrumbs, half of the oregano, lemon zest and season with salt. Fry that together for 5 mins. Set aside in a bowl
  • In a large frying pan, fry and soften the garlic in a drizzle of olive oil over a low heat. Add the chilli flakes.
  • Then, add the cherry tomatoes with a little water. Add the rest of the oregano. Simmer for 10 minutes, making sure you breakdown the tomatoes.
  • When the sauce has been cooked, add the spaghetti to salted boiling water and cook as instructed on the packet.
  • Add the mussels to the sauce and pour in the white wine. Turn the heat up slightly, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • When the spaghetti is cooked, add it the tomato and mussel sauce. Give it a good stir
  • Serve the spaghetti mussel pasta in lovely deep bowls. Serve with a generous sprinkle of the lemon crumb and parlsey