Mussels with spaghetti

This recipe makes wonderfully flavoursome sauce for your pasta. There isn’t much cooking effort to be made, the most time is spent chopping the ingredients. Depends on your portion sizes, this could serve 2-4 people.

olive oil
1 celery stick
3 spring onions (or 1 onion)
5 chestnut mushrooms
4 cloves of garlic
juice of 1 lemon (or 2 tbsp if not using fresh lemons)
100ml white wine (I use Sauvignon Blanc)
400g mussels
150g plum tomatoes
200ml creme fraiche
black pepper
small bunch of dill
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook your preferred pasta.

2. Finely chop the celery and onions. Slice the mushrooms, and peel and squeeze the garlic. Fry in the olive oil for 5 minutes.


3. Add the white wine, lemon juice and mussels, and boil, covered with a lid, for 5 minutes.


4. Then add the creme fraiche, halved plum tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and add the dill.


5. Add the cooked pasta to you sauce, mix well together and warm through. Enjoy with some additional Parmesan cheese.


Spaghetti with squid and chorizo

Even though the weather in the UK has gone really cold, this dish has transported me right to the Mediterranean climate. Making the pasta for the spaghetti couldn’t be easier, it takes less time than chopping all the other ingredients. I would suggest to start with the pasta, as it can then dry a little while you prepare everything else.

250g pasta flour 00 grade
2 eggs
3 medium squid tubes
3 chorizo sausages
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 red or yellow pepper
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters
handful of parsley
1 courgette / zucchini
splash of olive oil
salt and black pepper
juice of 1 lemon


1.  Measure the pasta flour in a bowl. Make a well in the centre, and pour the eggs in. Then, starting with a fork, break the eggs and little by little mix the eggs with the surrounding flour. Once the dough gets firmer, move onto kneading by hand.

2. Divide the dough into two pieces. Flatten the pieces with your hands, and roll through the pasta machine, on the biggest setting. Fold the dough over in half, and roll through the same setting again. Then reduce the setting to the next, and roll through. Repeat until desired thickness is achieved. Next, using the spaghetti cutting roller part, cut the pasta sheet into spaghetti. Then, leave to dry while you prepare the rest.


3. Prepare all the other ingredients. Heat olive oil in a pan, and fry the onions, squid and chorizo for few minutes, until cooked.


4. Add the garlic, pepper and courgette. Fry for few minutes. At the same time, boil water with salt added, and put the spaghetti in. Boil for about three minutes, then drain.

5. Add the tomatoes and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Add the spaghetti, mixing everything together. Lastly stir in the parsley.



Seafood pasta

This is a simple and tasty dish, and I would also encourage everyone to have a go at making their own pasta. You only need two ingredients for basic pasta; flour and eggs. You can then make different variations with tomato purée, spinach or even squid ink if you’re feeling adventurous. For this recipe I used tomato purée. The octopus I use is already cooked (steamed in it’s juices), so it doesn’t require much additional cooking.

Serves 3
250g flour, preferably fine 00 grade pasta flour
2 eggs
1 tbsp tomato purée
200g cherry tomatoes
juice of one lemon, or 2 tbsp.
1 courgette / zucchini
25g bunch or parsley, chopped
2 octopus tentacles, about 225g
90g small scallops
1-2 squids, about 150g, thinly sliced
150g raw king prawns
2 shallots
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt, to taste
coarsely ground black pepper


1. Measure the flour in a bowl. I used fine 00 grade pasta flour, but I have also in the past used normal plain flour. Make a well in the centre, and tip the eggs in. Start mixing the eggs with a fork, slowly incorporating the surrounding flour into the eggs. When it gets quite firm, I find it’s difficult to continue mixing with the fork, so I change to kneading by hand. Even though I use large eggs, I don’t tend to use all of the flour. Keep the dough soft, but not sticky.

2. I wanted to make tomato pasta today. For this, warm the purée in a pan, and once you’re happy with your standard dough, knead it into the dough. To make it easier to mix it into the dough, make sure your workstation has flour on it.



3. I would recommend investing on a pasta rolling machine. At a low cost you will get a useful helper to your kitchen for pasta making. Cut the pasta dough into four pieces, and repeat the steps with all of the pieces. Flatten the piece into about 1cm / half an inch thickness. Set your machine on the biggest setting (7). Push the end of the piece right onto the rollers, and roll. The piece should now go through. Once the dough has come out, fold in half, and put through the same setting again. After this, reduce the setting to 6, and roll through once, then same with settings 5,4 and 3.


4. With floured hands, pat the pasta sheet on both sides. Then, roll the sheet through the tagliatelle roller. Separate the tagliatelle strands, and place on a baking sheet. Once you have prepared all dough pieces this way, leave to dry while you prepare the seafood sauce.


5. Finely chop the shallots and garlic, and fry in olive oil for 1-2 minutes.

6. Add the squid and king prawns, and fry for about 3 minutes. Then add the small scallops, and fry for another 3-4 minutes, stirring. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Add the courgettes to the pan, and fry, stirring, for 2 minutes. Pour the lemon juice into the pan.

8. Add the octopus and tomatoes, and heat through.

9. Tip the chopped parsley into the pan, and stir.

10. Boil water in a large pan, with a good splash of salt. Add the pasta into the boiling water. The fresh pasta will only need to cook for 3 minutes. Strain, and add to the seafood sauce.