Recipe courtesy of David Rocco

Zuppa e Councesze: Soup with Mussels

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1/2 cup/125 ml extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 fresh chile pepper, chopped

2 pounds/1 kg fresh mussels, cleaned and debearded* (See Cook's Note)

1 cup/250 ml white wine

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 onion, chopped

10 ounces/300 g butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes

7 ounces/200 g ditalini pasta

2 cups/500 ml water

1/2 cup/125 ml Parmigiano cheese


  1. Heat up 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a deep saucepan. Add the garlic and chopped chile pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the mussels, wine, salt, pepper, and stir together. Cover with a lid, allowing the mussels to steam open. Cook until all the mussels are fully opened. Discard any unopened mussels. In another saucepan, heat up 1/4 cup olive oil. Add the onion, butternut squash, salt, and black pepper. Cook for a few minutes. Then add the pasta and mix together. Add the water and allow the mixture to cook for 15 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. While the butternut squash and pasta are cooking, shell the mussels and place them back into the saucepan. Transfer the mussel soup to the butternut squash soup. Mix together and add the Parmigiano cheese.

Cook’s Note

To clean fresh mussels, rinse under cold running water and rip off any beards. Discard any that do not close when tapped. To give the soup a creamier consistency, mash 1/2 the squash with the back of a fork.