Strozzapreti pasta with cacio cheese, mussels, and pepper



All the authenticity of fresh pasta, the spicy tang of pepper, a sprinkling of cacio cheese. These ingredients are wonderful on their own and divine when combined in this wonderfully creamy dish: strozzapreti pasta with cacio cheese, mussels, and pepper. Preparing strozzapreti by hand is very satisfying: All it takes is water, flour, salt, and a little elbow grease. The sauce is then combined with that perennial favorite, cacio and pepper, plus a flavor of the ocean courtesy of mussels, which have to be the tastiest shellfish in existence. Let yourself be seduced by this pasta dish with its strong yet well-balanced flavors. It will become one of your go-to one-pot dishes.


Ingredients for the strozzapreti
Flour 00 3 ½ cups (400 g)
Water 1 cup (200 g)
Fine salt 1 ½ tbsp (10 g)
For the sauce
Mussels 2 ¼ lbs (1 kg)
Pecorino Romano cheese 1 ¾ cup (200 g)
Garlic 1 clove
Dry white wine ½ cup (100 g)
Black pepper 1 tbsp
Parsley to taste
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Fine salt to taste

How to prepare Strozzapreti pasta with cacio cheese, mussels, and pepper

To prepare strozzapreti pasta with cacio cheese, mussels, and pepper, start by making the fresh pasta: Blend the flour with salt 1, gradually adding the water while mixing by hand 2. Knead until all the ingredients are well combined 3.

Transfer the mixture to a work surface and carry on kneading until the dough is smooth and uniform 4. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least half an hour. Wash the mussels under running water 5, remove the beard 6,

and scrape the shells with a scouring pad to remove any external residue 7. Add a drizzle of oil and an unpeeled garlic clove to a large pan: Sauté and add the mussels 8. Turn up the heat and add the wine 9.

Lower the heat, let the alcohol evaporate off, and cover with a lid 10. Cook for about 5-6 minutes or until the mussels are fully open. Strain the mussels 11, taking care to set aside the cooking liquid 12.

Shell the mussels and set aside 13. In the meantime, take the dough and divide it in two 14 (keep one portion in the plastic wrap). Roll out the first half to a thickness of a penny (approximately 1 mm) 15.

Cut strips about 1 inch (2 cm) wide with a pasta cutting wheel 16 and form the strozzapreti: Take each strip, place the end of the strip on the palm of one hand and slide your other palm over it to roll it up. Your first strozzapreti will automatically break away from the rest of the strip. Then do the same thing with the rest of the strip. The strozzapreti should be at least an inch (3 cm) long 17. Carry on in the same way until you’ve used up all the dough and arranged the strozzapreti on lightly floured trays 18.

Heat a large pot of water and add salt when it boils. This will be used to cook the strozzapreti. In the meantime, prepare the pecorino cheese sauce: Add the grated pecorino cheese and 7 oz (200 g) of mussel cooking liquid 19 to a bowl. Mix with a whisk to blend everything 20. Then add freshly ground black pepper 21 to a large frying pan and toast over medium heat for a few minutes, tossing the pan continually.

Add the mussels and the remaining mussel liquid 22 and cook over low heat. In the meantime, cook the strozzapreti until they’re al dente 23, then drain them and pour straight into the pan with the sauce 24. Stir over moderate heat.

Add the pecorino sauce 25 and stir continuously using tongs, still over moderate heat. Add the chopped parsley 26 and carry on stirring until the sauce has thickened and blended well with the pasta (at first the sauce might seem too runny, but just keep stirring over medium-low heat. The sauce will combine with the starch in the pasta and take on a creamy consistency). Serve the strozzapreti pasta with cacio cheese, mussels, and pepper 27 piping hot, seasoning with more freshly ground black pepper to taste.


The dish is best eaten as soon as possible. We do not recommend any type of storage. 


You can flavor the pecorino sauce with some saffron threads.