Main Meals

Orecchiette with West Coast mussels in a lemon-garlic cream sauce

40 minutes
25 minutes
Wine/Spirit Pairing
Strandveld Adamastor 2011

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  • 240 g cake flour
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for coating
  • For the sauce:
  • 500 ml water
  • 1 kg fresh West Coast mussels
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 t lemon zest
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 250 ml cream
  • 4 T parsley chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Place the flour on a clean surface and make a well in the centre. Break the eggs into the well, add the salt and extra virgin olive oil and mix with a fork, working from the inside of the well out. 

When all the ingredients are mixed, knead to form a dough. Knead for 10 minutes, cover with clingwrap and chill for 30 minutes. 

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll into 4 cylinders about 2 cm thick, then slice into 1 cm pieces. 

Using your thumb, press down on each piece of pasta to create an indent and to flatten it out. Allow the pasta to dry for 10 minutes, then turn over and press down again with your thumb to create a shape that resembles an ear. 

Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente, about 2 minutes after they rise to the surface of the water. Remove using a slotted spoon and lightly coat with olive oil to prevent them from sticking together. 

To make the sauce, heat the water in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Clean the mussels, removing the beards and any dirt that may be on the shells. Place the mussels in the simmering water with the bay leaf and cover. 

Cook for 5 minutes, or until the mussels have opened. Cool slightly, then remove the mussel meat from the shells and set aside. 

Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan over a medium heat. Sauté the garlic, then add the lemon zest, lemon juice and cream. Add the mussels and parsley and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the pasta and season to taste before serving.

Cook’s note: Orecchiette is a pasta that originates in southern Italy. It gets its name from its shape, which is reminiscent of a small ear, and is perfect for holding thick sauces.

Abigail Donnelly

Recipe by: Abigail Donnelly

Nothing excites Woolworths TASTE's Food Director quite as much as the challenge of dreaming up recipes with innovative new foods – or the thrill of creating deliciousness on a plate with the humblest of ingredients. With Abi by your side, you’ll be a cooking expert in no time at all.

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