Cavatelli With Mussels And White Beans

Pasta con Cozze e Fagioli
  ~ We first had this pasta dish in Tuscany at Badia a Coltibuono, but found out later it is actually a very popular dish in Puglia. I used fresh cavatelli in my dish, although you any dried penne, tubetti, or any similar sized dried pasta would work just as well.

I also used canned pomodorini tomatoes for the dish in the photos, but any good quality crushed or strained tomatoes would suffice. I have seen chickpeas used more frequently in Puglia  but I do prefer cannellini beans myself.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Cavatelli With Mussels And White Beans

Cavatelli With Mussels And White Beans

Yield: Serves 4 - 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

A traditional Pugliese pasta dish that includes white beans and mussels.


  • 1 1/2 Cups Cooked Cannellini Beans
  • 2 to 2 1/2 Pounds Mussels, Scrubbed
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1/4 Cup Extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Coarsely Chopped
  • 2 Cups Canned Tomatoes
  • 1/4 Cup Italian Parsley, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Basil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Pound Pasta Of Choice


  1. Place mussels in a large pan with the wine and set over high heat.
  2. Cook, stirring frequently, until all mussels have opened.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside to cool, and strain cooking liquid through several layers of cheesecloth and set aside.
  4. When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove flesh and discard the shells.
  5. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
  6. In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add garlic.
  7. When garlic is soft but not brown, add the tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
  8. Stir in the cooked beans and simmer gently while the pasta cooks.
  9. Cook your pasta of choice in boiling water until it is almost cooked through.
  10. Drain the pasta and add the bean and tomato mixture.
  11. Add the mussels and strained mussel liquid.
  12. Stir over low heat 5 minutes, then add parsley, basil, and salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.
  13. Serve immediately.

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