Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spelt Spaghetti with Mussels

It has been a while since I last took part in Presto Pasta Night but this week PPN founder Ruth is hosting so it's a prefect time to join in again.

This week I'm using a familiar pasta made with a less familiar grain - Spelt Spaghetti

Spelt Spaghetti© by Haalo

It does look a bit like milk chocolate straws but the colouring is all down to using Spelt flour. Spelt, if you've not used it before, is an ancient form of wheat. It's effect on the pasta is to give it a more nutty taste so it's the type of pasta that will easily stand up to bold flavours.

The sauce I've made is tomato based and includes red capsicums (bell peppers), goat chorizo and mussels.

Spelt Spaghetti© by Haalo

Spelt Spaghetti with Mussels 
Serves 4

spelt spaghetti

1 red onion, sliced finely
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 chorizo, diced
2 red capsicums (bell peppers) sliced finely
1 can/400grams tomatoes, pureed (use fresh in season)
green peas, fresh or frozen, depending on season
1kg mussels
parsley, roughly chopped

Prepare the mussels:
Steam the mussels until they start to open, remove them straight away to stop them from over-cooking. Remove the mussels from the shells and set them aside - discard the empty shells.

Make the sauce:
Drizzle a little oil in a heavy based skillet and place over a medium heat. When heated, add in the chopped chorizo and quickly sauté until golden. Remove the chorizo from the pan but leave any of those lovely paprika flavoured oils that have been released in the pan.

Tip in the onion and chilli and lowering the heat, slowly cook this until the onions have softened. Add in the capsicums and stir - cook this for a few minutes before returning the chorizo to the pan and then pour in the pureed tomatoes.

Let this mix simmer to allow the flavours to develop, the vegetables soften and the sauce to reduce.

When the sauce is at the right consistency, you can now cook the spaghetti.

Add the fresh or frozen peas to the sauce and continue to simmer. Add in the prepared mussels in the last minute or two of cooking, you just want them heat them through.

Tip the drained, cooked pasta into the sauce along with a handful of fresh parsley and gently toss through.

Place the dressed pasta into bowls and top with a little more fresh parsley.

Spelt Spaghetti© by Haalo


  1. Very good looking pasta dish. I love tomato pasta sauces that cover everything. Chorizo and mussels sounds like a good combo.

  2. Looks delicious, i hope taste is the same!!!

  3. As always, your photos have me drooling. What a fantastic looking dish. thanks for sharing this one with PPN. Nice to have you back.

  4. This sounds wonderful!

    Questions: Did you make the spaghetti? If so, did you have to add more spelt than you would semolina/flour (or less water, in the same way you add less water for the focaccia)? And finally, does the spaghetti take less time to cook?


  5. Where did you ever find goat chorizo? Sounds fantastic!

    i've never had spelt pasta before because it is so expensive, but I would love to try it!

  6. Thanks Mark - they are a very good match and you see it in Spanish dishes

    Thanks Przepisy - tastes as good as it looks!

    Thanks Ruth - its good to be back!

    Thanks Elizabeth - this is dried spaghetti. I haven't tried making pasta with spelt. You might find that it doesn't need water and that you get enough moisture from the eggs - it would be an interesting experiment.

    Thanks Joanne - the goat chorizo is made here in Victoria and it's quickly become my favourite.


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