Fusilli lunghi with mussel and saffron butter

Not yet rated

This beautiful fusilli dish puts a new spin on the classic combination of mussels, pasta, white wine and butter. Half of the mussels are blended into the butter, which forms the basis of a rich saffron-infused sauce.

First published in 2023






Pick through the mussels and remove the beards, discarding any broken ones. Also discard any that aren’t tightly closed, or those that don't close when given a sharp tap on the work surface. Give them a good rinse in a large bowl of cold water, drain off the water and repeat two or three times until the water is clear then drain in a colander


Peel and lightly crush the garlic cloves


Add the olive oil to a large saucepan with a tight fitting lid and place over a medium heat. Add the garlic, shallots and bay leaves and gently sauté for 2–3 minutes, taking care not to brown the garlic


Tip in the mussels along with the white wine and turn up the heat to high. Put the lid on and steam the mussels for 3–4 minutes or until all the mussels have opened, stirring once or twice to ensure they cook evenly

  • 150ml of white wine

Once the mussels have all opened, empty the contents into a colander with a bowl underneath to catch all the liquid


Leave to cool slightly then pick all the mussels from the shells and set aside. You can discard the garlic, shallots and bay leaves at this stage


Strain the liquid through a fine sieve lined with a j-cloth or muslin to remove any grit


Take half of the mussels and place them into a food processor with the softened butter, saffron, dried chilli, a pinch of salt and a good crack of black pepper. Blitz until smooth and check the seasoning – adjust if necessary. Set aside the remaining mussels


Bring a large pan of water to the boil and season well with salt


Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions

  • 500g of fusilli lunghi

While the pasta is cooking add the mussel and saffron butter to a large pan along with a ladle of the reserved cooking liquid and place on a medium heat. Melt the butter with the liquid, stirring constantly to form an emulsion. If the butter begins to sizzle then add a little more mussel stock. Once the sauce has come together, remove from the heat until the pasta is cooked


When the pasta is cooked, strain off, reserving some of the water. Add the pasta to the butter sauce along with the rest of the picked mussels and toss vigorously so the sauce thickens to an oozy consistency that coats the pasta well. If it becomes too thick add a little more mussel stock or some of the pasta water. If it is too thin, keep tossing


Finish with lemon juice to taste and the chopped parsley and serve immediately

First published in 2023

The rustic, seasonal Italian dishes executive chef Matt Beardmore cooks in the kitchen of Legare in London are punchy, packed with flavour and a testament to just how incredible Italy’s regional cuisine can be.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.

You may also like

Load more