Angela Hartnett's recipe for mussels with tomato sauce

This is a favourite summer dish and something you see in every restaurant on Italy’s Amalfi coast
Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 2kg mussels
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • bunch of flatleaf parsley, stalks removed and leaves chopped
  • 150ml white wine
  • 350g dried spaghetti
  • 250g basic tomato sauce for pasta
  • pinch of dried chilli
  • handful of chopped basil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Clean the mussels under cold running water, scrubbing the shells well and removing the hairy beards. Discard any mussels that are already open.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, add the thyme and garlic and the stalks of the parsley. Add the mussels, then pour in the white wine. Cover the pan and cook until the mussels have opened. Discard any that don’t open.

Remove the mussels from the pan and reserve the liquid. Take half the mussels out of their shells. bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the spaghetti and stir. Cook according to the packet instructions, until the pasta is al dente.

Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large pan, add the tomato sauce and dried chilli and warmthe sauce through. Check the seasoning.

Drain the spaghetti and put it back in the pan. Toss with the tomato sauce, basil, chopped parsley leaves and shelled mussels. Add the remaining mussels in their shells on top and serve immediately.

Taken from A Taste of Home by Angela Hartnett published by Ebury Press, RRP £25, photograph copyright Jonathan Lovekin