Spaghetti with Mussels

After the busy Easter period it is definitely nice to have a few healthy and light dinners! You may be thinking ‘Spaghetti?, Light?’, well yes pasta here is usually a light meal! The difference here in Italy, is that the pasta is not swamped with sauce, rather it just coats the pasta.

So living by the sea in a traditional fishing city of Italy, we have an amazing array of seafood to choose from! So for this dish I decided to use mussels as they are incredibly good for you! They are fantastic sources of vitamins, B9 (folate) and B12 and minerals, iron, zinc and selenium!

Spaghetti with Mussels

In this dish, I actually removed the mussels from the shell before cooking them, something that I learnt from my Italian mamma in law. It definitely saves a lot of fiddling around and mess when you are eating, I can assure you! Also since you are removing the flesh you don’t need to clean the shells making this dish a lot quicker to make and it is the perfect weeknight dinner!

Buon Appetito


Spaghetti with Mussels

Serves 4
Author | The Unprocessed Pantry

1kg mussels
olive oil
handful of parsley, chopped plus a little extra for garnishing
1 clove garlic, chopped
400g tin chopped tomatoes
250g wholegrain spaghetti

large cooking pot
frying pan

Make sure to smell each mussel, they should smell fresh and like the sea, however they should not smell fishy.

Discard any mussels which have broken shells, or the shells remain open after being tapped. You want your mussels to be alive.

Discard any mussels which don’t look fresh or healthy.

Add 2-3 extra pieces of spaghetti for taste testing.


Place the mussels in a large bowl of water and remove the ‘hairy beard’ that sticks out of the shell by pulling hard on it. Since we are removing the mussel from the shell there is no need to clean the shells.

To open the shell, insert the blade of a bread knife next to the hinge and run the blade all the way around the shell and press it open. Remove the mussel by running a the blade of the knife under the flesh and scooping it out. Rinse the flesh of any grit and place to the side. Repeat with the remaining mussels. Once you have finished all the mussels, strain the water through a fine sieve to remove grit and reserve to the side.

Fill a large pot with water, add a few pinches of salt and bring to the boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti, stir once and cook until al dente and drain.

Meanwhile in a frying pan, heat some oil over medium heat and add the garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper and cook for a 2-3 minutes. Add the mussels to the tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes.

Drain the pasta and add to the tomato mixture with a couple of tablespoons of the reserved water. Toss or stir to combine and cook for another couple of minutes.

Serve immediately with some parsley sprinkled on top.




Get recipes and articles from The Unprocessed Pantry sent straight to your inbox!

Indicates required*