Spaghetti with mussels, prawns and chilli

Neil Perry
Spaghetti with mussels, prawns and chilli.
Spaghetti with mussels, prawns and chilli. Photo: WILLIAM MEPPEM

The mussel and prawn dish is everything that is great about Italian cooking: simple and delicious. The juices from the mussels make a great sauce mixed with chilli, garlic and olive oil. Be careful to check on the salt content of the mussel juice, though, as you don't want it too salty. Clams can also be used. Another wonderful addition is toasted breadcrumbs for crunch.


¼ cup dry white wine

1kg large black mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 small dried chillies, crumbled

8 green (raw) king prawns, peeled

¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus extra

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

400g dried spaghetti


Place the wine in a saucepan over medium-high heat and add the mussels.

Cover and steam the mussels for 4-5 minutes until they open; remove opened mussels from the pan. Strain and reserve the mussel juice.

Add half the olive oil to the saucepan. When hot, add the garlic, chilli and prawns.

Cook until opaque, about 2 minutes, then add the mussels, strained juice, parsley and the remaining olive oil and check the seasoning.

The water from the mussels may be salty enough; if not, add a little salt and freshly ground pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water for 8 minutes, or until al dente.

Drain and mix through the mussel and prawn sauce.

Spoon the sauce and pasta into 4 pasta bowls and serve immediately, sprinkled with extra chopped parsley.