A delicious marriage of creamy beans and mussels, this fragrant dish, adapted from a recipe in the Geometry of Pasta (Quirk Books, 2010), is made from a melange of mixed, leftover pasta, called pasta mista. This recipe first appeared in our Jan/Feb 2013 issue along with Cathy Whims article The Geometry of Pasta.
Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Italian Comfort Food
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 7 oz. mixed pasta pieces, such as broken linguine, fusilli, and orzo
- 1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans, drained
- 3⁄4 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 1⁄2 lb. mussels, scrubbed
- 10 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
- 20 basil leaves, torn into pieces
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1½ cups pasta water; set aside. Add half the beans and 1 cup of reserved water to a blender, and purée; set aside.
- Heat ½ cup oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, celery, and chile flakes; cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes. Raise heat to high, add remaining pasta water, mussels, and tomatoes. Cook, covered, until mussel shells open, 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover, add reserved pasta and both the puréed and whole beans; cook, stirring, until pasta is tender, about 5 minutes more. Stir in remaining oil, basil, salt, and pepper.