MALLOREDDUS CON LE COZZE
From Chef Rosario:
Sardegna (Sardinia in English) is a fascinating island in the middle of the Mediterranean. Italians love Sardegna for its crystal-clear waters, mozzafiato (breathtaking) seascapes, and its unique mouthwatering cuisine.
When I was growing up, I was fortunate enough to spend a few summers in Sardegna because my father worked there for a time. I learned to love the island’s many culinary delicacies, and above all, its unique pasta shapes like MALLOREDDUS (Sardinian semolina gnocchi) and FRÈGULA (Sardinian couscous—in current Italian, it is known as “fregola”). Fortunately, both exotic pasta shapes are available in the pasta section of most specialty food stores.
The following recipe is my interpretation of a classic Sardinian match: shellfish and pasta. Malloreddus are quintessentially Sardinian, and mussels are readily available in Sardegna and all over the Mediterranean. We are blessed with delicious mussels in the North Atlantic and in other coastal areas of the United States as well, making them a favorite and beloved seafood choice. The flavors of this dish will tempt and delight you and your guests: ASSAGGIATE!
MALLOREDDUS CON LE COZZE
- 8 oz Malloreddus Small pasta shells can be substituted
- For the mussels:
- 2 lbs Fresh Mussels
- 1 Bay leaf
- Parsley stems
- 1/2 Cup White wine
- 1 Garlic clove smashed
- 1 Large scallion white bulb only
- A generous pinch of saffron threads
- For the sauce:
- 1/4 Cup Evoo
- 2 Garlic cloves chopped
- 1 Hot chili pepper to taste
- 1 Cup Cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 Large scallion green only, thinly sliced.
- A few Italian parsley leaves chopped
1. Soak mussels in iced salted water and let them rest for an hour or so. Wash and clean mussels by removing their “beards.” Discard any broken or damaged shells as demonstrated in the video.
2. Place bay leaf, parsley stems, garlic, scallion bulb, saffron and wine in a pot large enough to fit the mussels. Bring to a simmer on medium heat, add mussels, and cover.
Cook five to ten minutes or until mussel shells start to open. Remove mussels from pot as they open and discard any that remain shut. Set aside.
3. Remove most mussels from shells, leaving some intact to be used as a garnish.
Reserve all the broth to be added to the sauce after straining.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once water has reached a boil, add salt and pasta, and cook according to package directions.
4. Heat oil in a large skillet, add garlic and cook for a minute until golden. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add salt and chili pepper to taste.
Strain the mussel broth and add to sauce; there should be at least one cup of broth.
5. Once pasta is cooked, add to sauce along with mussels and simmer for a minute or two until all flavors are incorporated and the sauce has a creamy consistency
Add sliced scallions and parsley.
Mix thoroughly, transfer to a serving platter and arrange a few mussels in the shell on top.