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Tagliatelle with mussels

Gennaro Contaldo's simple sauce is made extra-special with homemade pasta. Use shop-bought pasta for a quicker supper.

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For the pasta

  • 150g/5oz Italian ‘00’ flour, plus extra for flouring
  • 50g/2oz semolina, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 free-range eggs

For the sauce

  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 anchovy fillet, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g/14oz tin plum tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ red chilli, finely chopped
  • 800g/1lb 12oz mussels, cleaned and de-bearded (discard any mussels that do not close tightly when tapped)
  • handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • salt


  1. For the pasta, mix the flour and semolina together on a clean work surface or in a large bowl.

  2. Make a well in the centre and break in the eggs.

  3. With a fork or with your hands, gradually mix the flour with the eggs to form a soft dough. Knead the dough for five minutes, or until smooth.

  4. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

  5. Flour the pasta machine with semolina and divide the pasta into four equal pieces. Starting at the lowest (thickest) setting, feed one piece of the dough through the machine, turning the handle with one hand and holding the dough as it comes through the machine with the other. Change the setting on the pasta machine to the next-thickest setting, flour it again and feed the pasta sheet through the machine again, as before.

  6. Repeat this process 3-4 more times, flouring the machine and changing the setting down each time. The pasta should be quite thin, but still easy to handle without tearing. Don't be tempted to skip settings or the dough may tear. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.

  7. Once the pasta sheets have reached the ideal thickness, cut into long strips and dust with semolina

  8. For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large lidded frying pan and fry the anchovy, capers and garlic for 2-3 minutes.

  9. Add the chopped tomatoes, oregano, chilli and mussels. Stir well, partially cover with the lid and cook on a medium heat for 4-6 minutes, or until most of the mussels have opened (discard any mussels that have not opened during cooking).

  10. Remove most of the mussels from their shells and discard the shells, keeping some aside to garnish. Return the shelled mussels to the sauce.

  11. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes, or until al dente.

  12. Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the pasta water. Tip the pasta into the tomato sauce and stir until well combined. If necessary, loosen the sauce with a little reserved pasta water.

  13. To serve, spoon the pasta into pasta bowls, sprinkle over the parsley and the un-shelled mussels.

How-to videos

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Rolling pasta using a pasta machine