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Dani Valent

Serves 4 - 6

This recipe is for Thermomix but can also be adapted for those without the amazing kitchen machine. My recipe uses the Varoma to steam the mussels while the spicy sauce bubbles underneath. The sauce, mussels, tomatoes and a handful of herbs are then tossed with Alligator Pasta malfadini, which has perfect frilled edges to capture the sauce. I love the freshness of mint but parsley also makes a great partner for mussels.

100 grams leek, white part only, in 2 or 3 pieces
2 cloves garlic
50 grams butter, cubed
120 grams white wine, such as verdelho
400 grams tinned crushed tomatoes
1 red chilli, sliced (leave or discard seeds according to personal taste)
2 strips lemon zest
1 bay leaf
5 grams flaked salt, plus extra to finish
pinch black pepper
1 kilogram fresh mussels
2 cherry tomatoes per person
20 grams lemon juice
handful fresh mint
80 grams malfadini per person, cooked al dente, according to Alligator Pasta instructions
olive oil

Put a large pot of water onto boil for the pasta.
Place leek and garlic in TM bowl and chop for 1 second/speed 7. Scrape down. Add the butter and sauté for 4 minutes/100 degrees/speed soft.Add the wine, crushed tomatoes, sliced chilli, lemon zest, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes/speed 1/Varoma. While the sauce is heating, check your mussels, removing beards and discarding any opened mussels. Place mussels in the Varoma and set in place with at least 10 minutes to go. (Reset Thermomix to 10 minutes/speed 1/Varoma if necessary.)

While mussels are steaming, cook pasta according to instructions. Drain and keep warm, drizzled with a little olive oil.
When there are 2 minutes remaining on the Thermomix place halved cherry tomatoes into Varoma, either on the tray, if there is room, or simply scattered over the mussels.

When the time has elapsed check that the mussels have opened. If not, steam for an additional 1 minute/speed 1/Varoma. Remove mussels and tomatoes and keep warm.

Reduce the sauce by cooking for another 10 minutes/speed 3/Varoma/MC off. Add the lemon juice and stir for a few seconds at speed 3 to incorporate.

Toss the mussels and sauce with the pasta and mint, removing zest and bay leaf as you come across them. Pile into pasta bowls, drizzle with a little extra olive oil and salt, and serve.






Dani Valent

Food writer and author of In the Mix: Great Thermomix Recipes

Dani Valent is a freelance writer with a focus on food.  Her feature articles and restaurant reviews appear regularly in The Age. Dani has just released her latest cookbook "In the Mix 2" a followup to her award winning cookbook: "In the Mix" that takes Thermomix cooking to a new level.