- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 12 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 anchovy fillet, chopped very fine
- 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh oregano, leaves only
- 3/4 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 pounds cultivated mussels, washed very well
- Pinch of saffron
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 10 ounces cavatelli
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until lightly browned. Add the anchovy, capers, and oregano and saute for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, mussels, saffron, and red pepper flakes. Cover the pot and cook for 8 minutes.
While the mussels are cooking, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water. When the mussels are cooked, remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon. Discard any unopened ones and remove the rest from their shells. Discard shells and any unopened mussels. Strain the cooking liquid through a double thickness of cheesecloth to remove any sand and impurities. Return liquid to the clean pot.
Drain the pasta, placing the shelled mussels back into the soup with the pasta, adjust the seasoning, allow to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes and serve. Don't forget to provide plenty of crusty bread to mop up