“I must admit, if I’m ordering mussels on their own, I love to have them simply cooked just in white wine, but when it comes to creating a pasta sauce, for me, this is the only way to serve them.”
- Wash the mussels under cold water and discard any broken ones or any that do not close when tapped firmly. Place the mussels in a large saucepan, pour over the wine and cover with a lid. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until they have opened. Remove and discard any that remain closed and any empty shells. Tip into a colander placed over a bowl to catch the cooking liquor. Set both aside.
- Pour the olive oil and the oil from the semi-dried tomatoes in the saucepan you cooked the mussels in. Over a medium heat, fry the garlic until it begins to sizzle. Add in the tomatoes and pour in the reserved cooking liquor from the mussels. Cook for 2 minutes and season with salt and lots of black pepper – and when I say lots of black pepper I mean at least ½ teaspoon full.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente. Stir occasionally to prevent it sticking. For the perfect al dente bite, cook the pasta 1 minute less than instructed on the packet. Drain and tip back into the same saucepan. Set the pan on a medium heat, pour over the sauce with the mussels and stir everything together for 10 seconds, allowing the flavours to combine and the sauce to stick to the pasta.
- Serve immediately – please do not be tempted to serve it with grated cheese on top!
Once you have drained the mussels and caught the broth in a separate bowl, just check there are no pieces of broken shell still in the pan before frying the semi-dried tomatoes.