Ligurian Spaghetti with Mussels

This dish uses butter which is used equally as often as olive oil in the Ligurian Coast (Genoa Province). If you can source fresh clams or cockles, this would be my first choice to make an authentic dish. However, mussels are incredibly economical, with the quantity for this dish costing $2. And an added bonus is that they are on the greenlight list in Forest & Bird's Best Fish Guide. Download their app to your phone to have handy when shopping.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 people


  • 30 g butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 16 mussels or 24 cockles
  • A splash of white wine
  • A twist of freshly cracked pepper
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • Cooked spaghetti for two people - see directions above


  1. In a wide, shallow pan such as a wok, melt the butter over a moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes. Dial up the heat and add the mussels or cockles and a splash of wine.
  2. Clamp a lid on and cook, shaking often, for five minutes until the mussels open. Add the cooked spaghetti and a generous grind of black pepper, and toss to combine. Heat through then tip on to two plates, squeeze over lemon juice and serve immediately.