Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Homemade linguine with a mussel and tomato sauce and pesto

Prep time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cook time 30 mins to 1 hour
Serves 4
From Saturday Kitchen
Homemade pasta tastes wonderful and with a bit of practice is not too difficult. Pair with a mussel and tomato sauce for a delicious supper.


  1. For the linguine, blend the flour and eggs in a food processor until they form small crumbs. Remove from the processor and knead on a lightly floured surface for 2-3 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

  2. Cover the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

  3. To make the linguine, weigh out about 300g/11oz of the pasta dough (you can store the remaining pasta dough in the fridge for up three days or in the freezer for up to three months). Lightly flour a clean work surface and work the rested dough into a rough rectangle shape with your fingers.

  4. Flour the pasta machine. Starting at the lowest (thickest) setting, feed the dough through the machine, turning the handle with one hand and holding the dough as it comes through the machine with the other. Change the setting on the pasta machine to the next-thickest setting, flour it again and feed the pasta sheet through the machine again, as before.

  5. Repeat this process 3-4 more times, flouring the machine and changing the setting down each time.

  6. Once the pasta sheets have reached the ideal thickness, trim the edges slightly. Attach the cutting attachment to the pasta machine, flouring it well. Run the sheets of dough through the machine once again, cutting them into linguine. Dust the linguine well with flour and place on a plate. Chill in the fridge while you make the sauce.

  7. For the pesto, blend the basil, pine nuts, parmesan and garlic in a food processor to a fine purée. Add the olive oil and continue to blend to a coarse paste.

  8. For the mussel and tomato sauce, heat 2½ tablespoons of the olive oil in a lidded frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion and celery for 1-2 minutes, or until softened.

  9. Add the mussels and white wine and cover the pan with its lid. Steam for 2-3 minutes, or until all of the mussels have opened. (Discard any mussels that have not opened.)

  10. Strain the mussels through a fine sieve into a bowl. Reserve the cooking liquid.

  11. Using your hands, discard the shells from half of the mussels and set the mussel flesh aside. (Set aside the remaining mussels in their shells too.)

  12. Return the pan the mussels were cooked in to the heat and add the remaining 2½ tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the garlic for 30 seconds, or until pale golden-brown.

  13. Add the reserved cooking liquid, canned tomatoes and basil and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the volume of the mixture has reduced by one third. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir in all of the cooked reserved mussels.

  14. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Remove the prepared linguine from the fridge and loosen it carefully with your fingers, to separate the strands. Cook the linguine in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes, or until just tender, then drain.

  15. Stir the cooked linguine into the mussel and tomato sauce.

  16. To serve, spoon the mussel and tomato linguine onto each of four serving plates and top each with a spoonful of pesto and a few basil leaves.


For the linguine

  • 300g/11oz type '00' flour (available in supermarket baking sections and some delicatessens), plus extra for dusting
  • 3 free-range eggs

For the pesto

  • 60g/2½oz fresh basil leaves, plus extra to serve
  • 50g/2oz pine nuts, toasted
  • 50g/2oz parmesan, freshly grated
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 75ml/3fl oz extra virgin olive oil

For the mussel and tomato sauce

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 2kg/4lb 4oz mussels, cleaned, beards removed (discard any mussels that remain open after rinsing)
  • 150ml/5fl oz white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
  • 800g/1lb 12oz canned tomatoes
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Homemade linguine with a mussel and tomato sauce and pesto

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