Paccheri con le Cozze e Fagioli (Mussels and Beans)

30 minutes
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  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x

Ingredients

  • 1 pound paccheri
  • 2 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed well
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed well
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley (flat leaf), chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

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Instructions

  1. Remove any mussels that are broken or which do not close immediately if tapped. Scrub the mussels well with a wire sponge or brush.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add a few tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the whole garlic cloves until golden. Add the mussels and cover. Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until the shells open (discarding any mussels with a shell that does not open). Remove the mussels from the skillet with a slotted spoon and then remove all but 12 mussels from their shells. Place all shelled mussels back into the skillet with the remaining liquid.
  4. In a separate skillet, sauté the onion in the remaining olive oil. When golden, add the tomatoes and after a few minutes the wine. Add the beans and cook for about 10 minutes. Add parsley, salt and pepper.
  5. Add this mixture to the large skillet containing the mussels and heat together. Add back the mussels remaining in their shells.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the pasta until al dente (2 minutes less than package recommends). Drain and add it to the skillet with the mussels. Mix together over medium heat for about 1 minute. Serve immediately, evenly distributing the mussels.

Ed's Review

They say that civilization is defined by table manners.  And so today we take on one of the greatest threats known to modern civilization. That’s right, I’m talking about the flip-flop.  Let me explain: Flip-flops belong at the beach, not at the table.

Just as the broken windows theory shows that petty crimes lead to major crimes, the same theory applies to our dining habits. This means that flip-flops should be banned from most dining establishments. I’ll make a couple of exceptions, like for burger joints at the beach, where I don't care what's on anyone's feet. But when I'm out for a nice meal, the last thing I want to see are hairy toes, long toenails, or dirty feet. Like I said, flip-flops belong at the beach.

So mark my words: If we just let this flip-flop thing go on for much longer, within a few years shirtless dining will become the norm. And then… well who needs the knife and fork anyway?

This recipe hails from my recent visit to the Italian seaside, not far from where the fork was first used 500 years ago as an expression of good manners.  Yes, I saw some flip-flops in Italy... at the beach. But in the shops and restaurants, I saw nothing but Tods and Ferragamos.  After all, Italians know where their feet belong, and it isn't near my pasta.

Buon Appetito!
Ed Garrubbo

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