(serve 2 people)
For the rigatini:
- 200 gr 00 flour
- 2 eggs
- For the Sauce:
- 1 kg mussels, cleaned
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 Basil sprigs
- 4 lemon rind
- 450 gr heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, plus extra for garnish
- Ground black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
For the rigatini:
- Place the flour onto a clean surface, shape it into a circular mound and make a well in the centre.
- Place the eggs in the well and use a fork to lightly whisk and start to incorporate some flour.
- Use your fingertips to gradually blend a little more flour into the eggs until it forms a dough.
- Firmly knead the dough by using the heel of your hand pushing down onto it, and then away from you.
- Lift the dough and fold it back onto itself. Turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat. Continue kneading for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Wrap the dough in a tea towel ( this will prevent the dough from drying out) and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
- After resting, cut the dough into quarters. With the help of a pasta machine, thin out each quarter until a rectangular sheet forms and reaches a thickness of 2 mm. Cut pasta sheets into squares of about 5 cm.
- Place one pasta square onto the middle of your gnocchi board. Pick up the edge closest to you and hold it against a wooden rod or the end of a wooden spoon. Roll the pasta and the rod over the gnocchi board, pressing the edges together to create a tube.
- Slide the tube off the rod and place it on a lightly floured surface. Repeat with rest of the dough and set aside.
For the sauce:
- Preheat oven to 220ºC and line a tray with baking paper.
- Place cherry tomatoes on tray and season with Extra virgin olive oil, salt, ground black pepper, 3 garlic cloves (cut in half) and 1 sprig of fresh basil (cut in smaller pieces).
- Toss tomatoes gently and roast for 20 minutes ,or until the skins blister and lightly blacken. Remove garlic and basil sprigs before setting tomatoes aside.
- Over medium heat, in a large frying pan add 2 tbsp of olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, lemon rind and 3 basil stalks. Heat until fragrant before adding the clean mussels. Gently toss the mussels in the oil and cover with a lid. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat when the mussels are all open.
- Remove mussels from shells and place them in a clean bowl before discarding the shells. Use a sieve to strain and keep cooked mussel liquid in a separate bowl.
- Set both aside. In a frying pan, over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and the roasted tomatoes. When hot, add 2 ladles of mussels cooking liquid and let simmer. Check for seasoning.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook it until al dente (about 5-6 minutes). When ready, drain the pasta and add it to the tomatoes. Add the mussels along with some torn basil leaves. Toss well until the pasta and the sauce are combined (add more water if needed).
- Add grated pecorino and toss until melted through the sauce. Serve with freshly grated pecorino cheese on top.
Born and raised in a seaside town on the Italian east coast, Davide’s passion for food was ignited as a child, watching and helping his mamma and nonna making fresh pasta. In his 20’s he began working in local seafood restaurants, and spent time developing his craft under the supervision of a Michelin star chef. In later years,
Davide earned the position of head chef for a well-renowned restaurant in his hometown. The love of travel, adventure and new experiences brought Davide to Australia in 2011. He quickly found his feet as he stepped into various kitchens across Sydney’s fine dining scene. A love for fresh seasonal produce is what drives Davide as he prepares classic and modern dishes- always with an equal portion of both Italy and Australia in his heart.