I already wrote a post about making mussels and pecorino cheese (29 September 2011). However, as I wrote at the time, “The photos of this post are very spartan and I never got around to snapping a shot of the cooked pasta on a proper serving plate or dinnerplate. Sorry about that … I was too busy getting on with eating it!”
So I am making it for it with this post.
Here is some rather spiffing artisanally made pasta that I bought at a place called “Necci dal 1924” in Rome’s Pigneto neighbourhood. Ben, the super-brains and super-brawn behind the running of this café-cum-lunch place-cum happy hour-cum fine dining dinner-cum shop, highly recommended it. The guy who produces it, Ben was saying it, is in the business of building hangars … and making top-quality pasta is just one of his hobbies!
The mussels have been steamed open and their shells thrown away, the liquid has been put through a fine sieve to trap any ‘bits’ we’d rather not eat. Some very fresh pecorino romano has been grated. And they all get put together in a nice big sauté pan. Freshly milled pepper to finish it off.
I then sauté some garlic in olive oil and add and mix it in well. I like to add some fresh herbs … parsley in this case. When the pasta is ready (i.e. cooked al dente), drain it and add it to the mussels and turn the heat on high so that the pasta gets a chance to take in some of the liquid — and hence taste better.
This pasta needs to get eaten straight away otherwise it spoils. So again, very remiss of me, I don’t have a final photo of the serving platter being presented with a few mussel shells dotted around it. Pecorino cheese and mussels may sound like strange bedfellows … but believe me, they pair very well indeed. Very ‘matey’ on the palate. Try it some time.
P.S. If you want to know how to clean mussels, see my post “Mighty is the Mussel” of 5th January 2011. If you can get someone else to do this job for you: even better!