Creamed Mussels With Rigatoni Saffron And Turmeric

Saffron and Turmeric are two fantastic anti-oxidants that not only give a delicious refined taste but also a beautiful color to the cream and the whole dish in general. The finely chopped dill, the zest of one lemon and a splash of Samos sweet wine makes this starter even better....

Unfortunately I was so wrapped up in my ideas for the cooking of the sauce that I forget to take any proper pictures. So please bear with me and attach your taste buds to your imagination while reading this post.

This recipe is basically very easy and does not take a genius cook to prepare it. 

Serves 4.

  • 500 gr thawed mussels with no shell. Be very careful not lose any of the juice which will be the basis for your sauce.
  • 500 gr good Italian Rigatoni boiled al dente.
  • 200 ml full cream.
  • 200 ml full cream milk.
  • 200 ml from the water where the pasta is boiling.
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dill.
  • 4 cloves garlic very finely chopped. Try to take out the middle vein to render it lighter on the peptic system.
  • 12 gr saffron.
  • 1/4 t turmeric.
  • Zest of one lemon.
  • A splash of sweet Samos wine.
  • 1/2 cup of hard cheese grated not parmesan (I used dry Mizithra).
  • 1/2 a seedless "piment d'espelette" thinly cut with a pair scissors or cayenne to taste.
  • No extra salt because the cheese is salty. You will add salt to the boiling water for the pasta.
  • One knob fresh butter.
  • 2 T olive oil.

Note : Yes I know " no cheese with seafood" but this is my twist. 
  • Separate the mussel juice from the mussels and set them aside for the end.
  • Heat butter and oil in a sauce pan till melted. 
  • Add garlic and dill and stir fry till you get that wonderful garlic odour. Do not over fry the garlic.
  • Add the wine and stir till the alcohol evaporates.
  • Add the mussel liquid and stir.
  • Add the cayenne or the piment d'espelette and mix.
  • Add the cream and the milk, stir and bring to a soft boil, then lower heat.  In the States you would call it half and half?? I would love a comment in the comment section of this post not on facebook or twitter pleeeeeease. 
  • Add saffron and turmeric and mix till they are well dissolved. You will see the color change to a pale yellow.
  • Cover and increase heat slightly and bring back to a soft boil. In the meantime the pasta is cooking. 
  • Add 200 ml of the water the pasta is boiling in, mix and let simmer till the pasta is drained.
  • Add the drained pasta to the sauce and mix at low heat. 
  • Turn off heat, add mussels, cheese, and zest and keep mixing till the sauce thickens and the sauce attaches itself to the pasta. 
Note: The mussels are edible even without cooking them. This is the reason they are added at the very end lest they dry up and become like rubber.
  • Serve immediately after you have added the Szechuan pepper which will give the final touch.
My portion!!

Enjoy as much as we did.


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