Grandad's mussel linguine (Linguine con cozze di Nonno)

mussel linguine

Serves 2

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced

  • 1-2 pinches of crumbled dried chilli

  • 1 anchovy fillet

  • 12 ripe cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 250 g fresh linguine

  • 1 kg mussels, washed and debearded

  • a small bunch of fresh parsley, chopped

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

Get a pan of salted water on to boil. Pour a few drizzles of extra virgin olive oil into a separate little pan and put it on a medium heat. Add the garlic, dried chilli and anchovy, then squeeze in and add the cherry tomatoes as the garlic begins to fry – at no point should the garlic take on any colour, but you need the heat to be hot enough to melt the anchovies. The juice from the tomatoes and oil will make a light, very delicate and simple sauce.



Add the linguine to the pan of boiling water and cook according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, add a good handful of washed and debearded mussels to the tomato sauce. Give the pan a little toss, then place a lid on top and cook until all the mussels are open. As usual with mussels, if any remain closed after cooking, throw them away. Add a handful of chopped parsley to the pan.



The pasta will now be a little under al dente and only a minute away from being ready. Nonno likes to drain his pasta, saving a little of the cooking water, then he puts the pasta back into the big pot and pours the mussel sauce over the top, mixing everything together well. Put the pot back on a low heat for an extra minute or two to cook the pasta perfectly – it will suck up all the lovely mussel juice. To finish, drizzle over a good bit of olive oil, season to taste and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Method

Nonno Contaldo is my mentor Gennaro's dad, but as far as Nonno is concerned, he thinks I'm his grandson! (You can make of that what you will!). I was really surprised to find out that Nonno lives by himself, and I was very impressed to hear that he still cooks for himself every day; although there are always friends and family nearby to help him if he needs it. His favourite thing to cook for himself is mussels with pasta, so I'm going to talk you through the recipe as he explained it to me.

Get a pan of salted water on to boil. Pour a few drizzles of extra virgin olive oil into a separate little pan and put it on a medium heat. Add the garlic, dried chilli and anchovy, then squeeze in and add the cherry tomatoes as the garlic begins to fry – at no point should the garlic take on any colour, but you need the heat to be hot enough to melt the anchovies. The juice from the tomatoes and oil will make a light, very delicate and simple sauce.

Add the linguine to the pan of boiling water and cook according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, add a good handful of washed and debearded mussels to the tomato sauce. Give the pan a little toss, then place a lid on top and cook until all the mussels are open. As usual with mussels, if any remain closed after cooking, throw them away. Add a handful of chopped parsley to the pan.

The pasta will now be a little under al dente and only a minute away from being ready. Nonno likes to drain his pasta, saving a little of the cooking water, then he puts the pasta back into the big pot and pours the mussel sauce over the top, mixing everything together well. Put the pot back on a low heat for an extra minute or two to cook the pasta perfectly – it will suck up all the lovely mussel juice. To finish, drizzle over a good bit of olive oil, season to taste and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 680
    34%
  • Carbs 73g
    28%
  • Sugar 6g 7%
  • Fat 20g 29%
  • Saturates 1.5g 8%
  • Protein 49g 108%
Of an adult's reference intake

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BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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