Homemade linguine with a mussel and tomato sauce and pesto

Homemade pasta tastes wonderful and with a bit of practice is not too difficult. Pair with a mussel and tomato sauce for a delicious supper.


For the linguine
  • 300g/11oz type ’00’ flour (available in supermarket baking sections and some delicatessens), plus extra for dusting
  • 3 free-range eggs
For the pesto
  • 60g/2½oz fresh basil leaves, plus extra to serve
  • 50g/2oz pine nuts, toasted
  • 50g/2oz parmesan, freshly grated
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 75ml/3fl oz extra virgin olive oil
For the mussel and tomato sauce
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 2kg/4lb 4oz mussels, cleaned, beards removed (discard any mussels that remain open after rinsing)
  • 150ml/5fl oz white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
  • 800g/1lb 12oz canned tomatoes
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

  1. For the linguine, blend the flour and eggs in a food processor until they form small crumbs. Remove from the processor and knead on a lightly floured surface for 2-3 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

  2. For the pesto, blend the basil, pine nuts, parmesan and garlic in a food processor to a fine purée. Add the olive oil and continue to blend to a coarse paste.

  3. For the mussel and tomato sauce, heat 2½ tablespoons of the olive oil in a lidded frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion and celery for 1-2 minutes, or until softened.

  4. Add the mussels and white wine and cover the pan with its lid. Steam for 2-3 minutes, or until all of the mussels have opened. (Discard any mussels that have not opened.)

  5. Strain the mussels through a fine sieve into a bowl. Reserve the cooking liquid.

  6. Using your hands, discard the shells from half of the mussels and set the mussel flesh aside. (Set aside the remaining mussels in their shells too.)

  7. Return the pan the mussels were cooked in to the heat and add the remaining 2½ tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the garlic for 30 seconds, or until pale golden-brown.

  8. Add the reserved cooking liquid, canned tomatoes and basil and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the volume of the mixture has reduced by one third. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir in all of the cooked reserved mussels.

  9. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Remove the prepared linguine from the fridge and loosen it carefully with your fingers, to separate the strands. Cook the linguine in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes, or until just tender, then drain.

  10. Stir the cooked linguine into the mussel and tomato sauce.

  11. To serve, spoon the mussel and tomato linguine onto each of four serving plates and top each with a spoonful of pesto and a few basil leaves.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

30 mins to 1 hour preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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