RECIPE: Annabelle White's Mussel & Bacon Pasta


This is such a popular recipe – everyone just enjoys the sheer simplicity and ease of preparation and that the ingredients speak for themselves – its comfort food, a family dinner and smart enough for entertaining – all rolled into one.  Curiously, you can use fresh mussels that you steam open and add instead of the ones in the pottle at the supermarket but that little bit of brine does help balance out the sauce.


250 g fettuccine pasta
200g shoulder bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
250g lite crème fraiche
500g mussels, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tsp. sweet Thai chili sauce
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


While the pasta is cooking as per the instructions on the packet make the sauce.  In a large fry pan place the bacon, onion, garlic, ginger in a hot pan.  When the bacon has cooked and the onion is soft add the lite crème fraiche, mussels and season with salt and pepper and chili sauce.  Add chopped parsley and add the hot pasta.

Serves 4.

Serve with a tossed salad.

* The simplicity and versatility of crème fraiche is a joy to the busy home cook.  As soon as the crème fraiche is added - you have your sauce.  It has the ability to withstand high temperature without separating and there is no need for reducing your sauce - it’s ready to go!

**We used mussels in brine from the supermarket - just drain the mussels and chop them up roughly! Keep a little brine on the mussels as that acidity helps counter-act the luscious crème sauce.

*** Remember always use a big pot of rolling water for pasta and salt after it boils and the water should taste as salty as the sea according to out Italian cooks.