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Spaghetti with Mussels and Crispy Pancetta


  • 1.5 kg mussels, pippis or clams, washed

  • 500g spaghetti

  • 5 slices pancetta, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ red capsicum, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • ½ -1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 50g unsalted butter, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped continental parsley

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • lemon, for serving

  • crusty bread, for serving


  • 1.

    Wash and scrub mussels, removing beards and discarding any that have opened, and allow to drain. Cook spaghetti in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water until ‘al dente’. Meanwhile, fry pancetta in a non-stick pan until crisp and drain on absorbent paper. Drain pasta (retaining 1 cup cooking liquid) and cover to keep warm. Heat oil in pot and sauté capsicum, garlic and chilli until softened. Add mussels and wine and simmer covered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mussels have opened. Add spaghetti and reserved cooking liquid and toss until well combined. Stir in butter, parsley, lemon rind and season to taste. Portion into bowls, sprinkle with pancetta and serve with lemon and crusty bread to mop up juices.

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