Recipe: Put some mussel into your pasta

CECILIA GOWER loves to cook. She is South American, has spent time in Italy and now lives in London. To begin our series on cold pasta salad, she submits a recipe for farfalle and mussels from her favourite Italian cookery magazine, La Cucina Italiana. If you cannot get farmed Scottish mussels, wait until the English ones are back in season next month. Instead, use a third less pasta and dress in olive oil and lemon juice. It is important to use a good, dried Italian pasta such as Barilla and De Cecco. Mrs Gower will receive a copy of Summer Cooking by Elizabeth David.

Summer Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients: llb (450g) farfalle

1lb (450g) mussels

9oz (250g) mozzarella

9oz (250g) ripe tomatoes

3 1/2 oz (100g) olives, pitted

olive oil

fresh basil

salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation: Bring 5 litres of salted water to boil in large pot. Add pasta. Cook until al dente. Strain, refresh in cold water and drain. Scrub and clean mussels. Heat 1tbs olive oil in casserole and add mussels. Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Once opened, shell them. Reserve and strain cooking juices. Blanch, peel and cube tomatoes. Cube mozzarella. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, tossing with olive oil, seasoning, a ladle of the mussels' cooking juices and a handful of basil leaves.

Next week, more pasta salads. Entries are welcome for our new category: cooking with mint. Send your entries to: Emily Green, Recipe, Weekend Features, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. The prize will be a bottle of Cabernet Franc 1990 Family Reserve from Francis Ford Coppola's estate in Napa Valley, California, imported by Reid Wines near Bristol.

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