Recipe by Tiziana Ricciardi (@deliziosavirtu)
The casarecce with rocket pesto, mussels and yellow cherry tomatoes is a very tasty, fresh and appetising first course. A simple dish with the scent of the sea sweetened by the yellow cherry tomatoes and enriched by a delicate rocket and almond pesto that gives colour and enriches it. A few, simple quality ingredients that make an amazing combination!
I used Sgambaro Etichetta Gialla (Yellow Label) Casarecce, 100% Italian durum wheat semolina pasta slowly processed with gentle bronze drawing and long drying. Not only does this pasta have an excellent taste and cooks perfectly, but it is also produced sustainably with a low environmental impact, therefore, I appreciate it even more! The shape of the casarecce pasta is suitable for mixing well with the sauce, making this dish ideal to enjoy for lunch but also perfect for surprising friends at dinner! So, are you ready to prepare it with me?
Ingredients (serves 4)
320 g Sgambaro Casarecce pasta
1.5 kg mussels
400 g yellow cherry tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
For the rocket pesto
70 g rocket
40 g blanched almonds
40 g grated parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
The first thing to prepare is the rocket pesto sauce. Wash the rocket and dry it with a paper towel. Put it the blender beaker with the almonds, grated parmesan cheese, garlic and salt. Add the extra virgin olive oil and start emulsifying with an immersion blender until obtaining a consistent mixture. If necessary, add a bit more oil. Once ready, set the rocket pesto aside in a bowl.
Wash and clean the mussels and put them in a pan with a drizzle of oil. Cook them until they open. Leave them to cool and remove the shells. Strain the liquid from the mussels into a bowl, add the cleaned mussels and set aside.
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil into a pan with the clove of garlic and brown for a few minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes cut in half and let the flavours blend together for a few minutes. Add a few tablespoons of the water strained from the mussels and continue cooking.
Cook the Sgambaro Casarecce in plenty of salted water and drain when still very al dente (about 2 minutes before the cooking time indicated on the package). Pour the pasta into the pan with the cherry tomatoes, add the mussels and leave to soak up the flavours until the pasta’s cooking time. If necessary, add a little more stained water from the mussels.
Put a few tablespoons of the rocket pesto on a plate, place the casarecce on top with the cherry tomatoes and mussels and serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some ground pepper!
Tiziana Ricciardi (aka deliziosavirtu)
Digital content creator, photographer, food writer and blogger