This time I would like to share with you an idea for an interesting meal which will be appreciated by shell lovers – this recipe requires shell shaped pasta and mussels. Shell shaped pasta is usually packed under the name conchiglie or conchiglioni, which means shells or giant shells in the Italian language.
Like every other pasta, conchiglie should be cooked in salted boiling water, strictly according to the manufacturer’s instructions in order to get specific consistency known as al dente. You can add some oil in boiling water to prevent sticking of pasta when it is cooked.
The soul of this meal is its sauce. Warm some virgin olive oil in deep pan or pot and add squeezed onions. When onions leave their sauce and scent add peeled tomatoes cut in small cubes. Prepare this sauce preferably with fresh tomatoes but tinned ones could also do. Simmer the tomatoes constantly stirring them and add some sugar, the inevitable ingredient when cooking tomatoes; add a glass of white wine and cleaned mussels.
When the wine is vaporized add salt and pepper and some water if you notice that sauce is getting too thick and starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Remove the sauce from fire when it is half reduced. Remove the mussels from the sauce and strain the sauce through a sieve. Put the mussels and cooked pasta in separate dishes and leave them to cool down. Now it is time to finish the sauce by adding some more virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, ground chili and stirring it all with a whisk.
The meal is ready to be served when cold mussels and tightly cut green peppers are added to cold pasta, overflowed with the sauce and stirred together. I did not find a specific name for this cold pasta and mussels salad but I can guarantee that it goes well with a glass of cold white semi-dry or aromatic wine.
I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!