Pasta beans and mussels, the scents of Campania

Pasta beans and mussels is a typical dish of the cuisine of the Campania Region. This is a delicious variant of the normal pasta and beans, enhanced by the addition of mussels, immediately releases the colors and the scents of Naples and the Campania region as a whole. This tasty classic of Campanian cuisine combines in a simple recipe, and within the reach of all the flavor of legumes, then of the earth, with those of the sea creating a riot of taste which is really difficult to resist.

Pasta beans and mussels neapolitan style was born in all probability as lean dish and recovery, but has finished to conquer a place all its in the recipe of the local tradition.

Kinds of pasta and consistence

As is the case for many regional dishes, also this recipe has different versions, which differ even for the choice of the pasta. The most frequently used alternative are the tubetti (tubbettielli in dialect) or mixed pasta (maritata means married), which blends perfectly with the idea of kitchen anti waste at the origin of the pasta beans and mussels. Formerly known in Naples as munuzzaglia, mixed dough is none other than the whole of the leftovers of the cutting of the dough, those that fell to the ground during processing and were recycled as food for animals. In the periods of famine, especially after the Second World War, the people began to collect it doing the rounds of the pasta, to bring to the table a hot meal capable of supporting the family.

The habit of using together various formats of dough is maintained even with the advent of industrial pasta, and today the mixed dough is a true institution, packaged and sold specially to embellish the pasta beans and mussels and various other typical preparations in Campania. To serve a perfect pasta beans and mussels consistency is an essential factor. The dish should not in fact be to liquid, but dense, or better “azzeccato”, to say to the Neapolitan lenguage. The procedure is simple, just follow to the letter to the recommendations of the original recipe of the chef.

Recipe pasta beans and mussels


  • 200 grams of white beans
  • 1 kilogram of mussels
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • a bunch of chopped parsley
  • chili not too spicy chopped
  • fresh onion
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 200 grams of small pasta like ditalini


Boiled beans, drain and retains a cup of the cooking water.
Clean mussels and wash several times.
In a frying pan low and wide pours the mussels, cover with lid and cook just the time that begin to open, it will take a couple of minutes.
Open the mussels, extract the shellfish and put in a dish, taking care to collect all their water in a bowl on the side.
Filtered mussels water and keep it apart.
Prepare a chopped mixture with parsley, onion, garlic and chili pepper and fai brown for a few second in a pan with a pinch of olive oil.
Add the beans and leave to gain flavor, then pour immediately after the mussels with their water, the water of the beans and turn off as soon as the bubbles.
In the meantime cook the pasta al dente in slightly salted water, drain and add it to the sauce of beans and mussels.
Leave to flavor and servants scattering the pasta beans and mussels with a pinch of chopped parsley and a little of olive oil.

Info autore
Ciro Cristian Panzella