Black Spaghetti with Mussels, and Chilli and Basil Pesto
Mussels are like miniature miracles that deliver maximum flavour in minimum time. Clean them, steam them, then throw in whatever you chose to create an impressive dish. Rather than coating just the pasta, the Basil and Chilli pesto is added to the liquid that is released by the mussels, so the different chillies and peppers infuse into this to create a punchy, aromatic broth that the crème fraîche gradually melts into.
- Submerge the mussels in a big bowl of water and rinse well. Drain the water off and repeat 2 more times to clean the mussels. Sometimes molluscs need longer to remove grit but generally mussels are almost ready to eat these days. Remove any beards that maybe sticking out and discard any if the shells are cracked or already open.
- Place a large pan of water on a high heat, season with salt, cover and bring to the boil. when boiling add the pasta, stir to prevent sticking then cook for around 8-9 minutes, or until just cooked but still slightly firm. When cooked, drain into a colander.
- Peel the tough outer layer from the spring onions then finely slice, using both the white and green parts. Place a large pan on a medium to high heat, and when hot add the olive oil and around ¾ of the spring onions. Cook for around 4-5 minutes or until softened.
- Add the mussels and the wine, place a lid on the pan and turn the heat up. Cook on high for around 3-5 minutes or until all the mussels have opened. Discard any that are still closed. Add the pesto and stir through the liquid that will have been released, then add the spaghetti and stir through to coat.
- Divide the spaghetti and mussels between bowls then use a spoon or ladle to dress with plenty of the mussel and pesto broth. Place a big spoonful of crème fraîche on top of each portion then top with remaining spring onions.