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Vesuvio pasta with mussels and beans
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5 from 10 votes

Vesuvio pasta with mussels and black beans

This delicious version of a traditional Neapolitan pasta with mussels and beans recipe not only looks and tastes beautiful but is healthy and nutritious too. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Campania, Italian, Southern Italian
Keyword: black beans, Italian food, pasta recipe, pasta with beans, pasta with mussels, seafood pasta
Servings: 4
Calories: 657kcal
Author: Jacqueline De Bono


  • 400 g vesuvio pasta (14 oz) or fusilli, rigatoni or orecchiette
  • 400 g black beans (14 oz) soaked and cooked or canned (200-250g dried beans)
  • 800 g fresh mussels (28 oz) washed and cleaned
  • 300 g ripe tomatoes (10 oz) cut into cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
  • 1 red chili pepper peperoncino - finely chopped
  • 1 handful fresh parsley chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt for pasta
  • black pepper to taste


If using dried legumes

  • The night before soak the beans in a pan. Make sure they are well covered with water! The next day rinse them and cook for about one hour in plenty of fresh water. Once they are ready, drain, and set aside.

Prepare mussels

  • Brush and wash the mussels well, place them in a saucepan over high heat and steam them covered until they have all opened.
  • Remove most of the mussels from the shells and put them aside. I keep a few in the shells for decoration! Filter the remaining water to remove the sand and keep aside too. Discard the rest of the shells.

Make the sauce

  • Wash and cut the tomatoes into small cubes. Chop the parsley and garlic and red chili pepper into small pieces (remove the seeds from the pepper if you prefer less spice)
  • Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan or skillet. Add the parsley, garlic and chili pepper. Cook until the garlic starts to soften then add the chopped tomatoes.
  • Once the tomatoes have started to soften, add the drained beans. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the filtered mussel water and simmer on a low heat while you cook the pasta.

Cook the pasta

  • Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta, add salt once it starts to boil and bring to the boil again. Cook the pasta a couple of minutes less than the cooking time stated on the packet. Save some of the pasta cooking water. 

Finish the dish

  • Drain the pasta add it to the beans and tomatoes with some of its cooking water and continue to cook until the pasta is ready. Add more pasta cooking water if necessary.
  • When the pasta is cooked. Add in the mussels. Turn off the heat and allow a couple of minutes for the mussels to heat through. Serve sprinkled with more fresh parsley, some ground black pepper and a dash of extra virgin olive oil. Some people like to add some extra red chili flakes to make the dish spicier. 


You can make this dish with borlotti or cannellini beans instead, or a mixture of beans. If using dried legumes cooking times after they have been soaked may vary. Black beans cook faster because they are smaller. 
You can use other kinds of short pasta such as fusilli, orecchiette or rigatoni.
Cooking times don't including preparing the dry legumes.