PIPE RIGATE PASTA WITH MUSSELS IN PESTO CREAM SAUCE, CHERRY TOMATOES AND BASIL | A DEFINITE “MUST TRY”
Ever wondered how to pick the right pasta for your meals? I have a very simple rule. With really thick, creamy sauces, I tend to go with tubular pastas such a rigate or penne. Because of their shape, these kind of pasta can hold on to some of the sauce in their hollow tubes. For less thick creamy sauce such as pesto or creamy mushroom sauce, I go for the wider noodles such as tagliatelle or pappardelle. These pasta are flat and wide and so are able to sop up creamy sauces. With bolognese, everyones favorite – spaghetti does the job perfectly. This pasta type goes well with olive oil and tomato sauces. Lastly, sheet pasta is great for layering and is therefore perfect for your lasagne.
KNOW WHAT YOU EAT
PIPE RIGATE (PASTA)
Pasta just like its relatives rice, potatoes, yam and bread are carbohydrate rich foods. It is a noodle made from unleavened dough of durum wheat or whole wheat flour mixed with water and formed into sheets or various shapes. Because pasta is so plain, we cook and serve it in numerous dishes such as pasta and cream sauces; and also our recipe for today, pasta with mussels. Pasta is made with or without eggs. Which makes it suitable for vegetarians. Vegans need to look out for pasta made without eggs.
SOME HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING PASTA
Pasta is a good source of fiber. The amount of fiber may differ based on the pasta type and composition. Pasta is also low in cholesterol and sodium which would make it good for your hearts health. So it is totally up to you to make healthy sauces to eat with your pasta. Folic acid is another nutrient found in pasta. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all women of child bearing age should consume 400mcg of folic acid daily. This is to prevent two very common and serious birth defects – Spina bifida (a split spine) and anencephaly (the absence of a major part of the brain, skull or scalp) in a newborn. Pasta has a low glycemic index so it causes your sugar to rise slowly, keeping you full for longer. This makes it a good choice for weight loss. A research from I.R.C.C.S Neuromed in Pozzilli, Italy shows that contrary to popular belief, pasta consumption does not contribute to obesity. We all have been told about a mediterranean diet and its benefits but it still boils down to portion sizes and respecting the variety of all its elements.
Mussels are bivalve molluscs. They have been cultivated for almost 800 years and have been used as a food source for more than 20,000 years. Mussels are one of the most natural, organic products available in today’s market. For all shellfish, freshness is very important and this means they should still be alive when you cook them. The shells of mussels should be tightly closed when you buy them, or they should close when you tap them. It is important to discard any mussels that are still shut after cooking. This may be a sign that they were already dead before cooking.
SOME HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING MUSSELS
They are high in B12 vitamins and provide a readily absorbable source of many other B & C vitamins, amino acids, vital minerals including iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc. They have more Omega 3 fatty acids than any other shellfish and far more than any other popular meat choice today. Mussels are much lower in Omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory and omega 3 are anti-inflammatory. Our body requires a good ratio of both nutrients and mussels provide that (25mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6). Mussels are also low in sodium, fat and cholesterol and high in protein. Mussels increase your intake of vitamin A. Adequate vitamin A intake nourishes your eyes, skin and immune system, and aids in the production of new red blood cells. The combination of pasta with mussels is a recipe that improves brain health, vision and cardiovascular health.
- 250g Pipe Rigate pasta
- 500g Mussels (washed) - 125g out of shell
- 100g Cherry tomatoes
- 1 glass white wine
- 80g Boursin (or heavy cream)
- 10g Fresh Basil leaves
- 4 tsp Red pesto
- 1tsp tomato puree
- 2 shallots chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 3 Tbsp Olive oil
- 2 boullion cubes
- 1tsp salt
- In a warm pan, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- When the oil is hot, add your chopped garlic and shallots, stirfry until fragrant
- Add 4 teaspoons of red pesto and 1 teaspoon of tomato concentrate |(for the rich red colour) and continue to stir
- Throw in some Basil leaves
- Add a glass of white wine to the mix. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes
- *At this point, begin cooking pasta.
- Cook your pasta in boiling hot water for about 7 minutes. (Whatever the recommended time is on the pack, cook for 4 minutes less. This is because the pasta will cook further in the sauce)
- Do not throw out your pasta water. This water is very starch and can be added in small portions to thicken your sauce.
- Wash and clean your mussels; removing any hairs. Then toss into the mix and stir.
- Add your boursin. The sauce should get a lot creamier and thicker.
- Crush in your boullion cubes and add a pinch of salt.
- Add your pasta and continue to stir.
- If the pasta is dry, add some pasta water.
- Taste and add a bit of salt if needed.
- Serve hot and garnish with halved cherry tomatoes and basil leaves.