Mafalda garofalo and beans with mussels
Pasta and beans with mussels is essentially a Southern Italy variation on traditional legume recipes. In the Neapolitan tradition, pasta and beans is a soup in which the pasta is cooked directly in the sauce, using a technique similar to that for risotto, adding water or broth when needed, until the pasta is completely cooked- The starch released, along with the blending of the ingredients and the seasoning, contributes towards achieving a creamy consistency. In this version, the liquid that is added during cooking is the water from the mussels, which gives the dish a typical savory note. Although in Naples normally mixed pasta is used to prepare pasta and beans, which is a mixture of the remnants from various types of pasta from when they used to be sold loose, a very valid alternative is the short Mafalda pasta, which, with its wavy edges, "embraces" the mussel. Actually, short mafalda is just one of the many shapes that are present in the mixed pasta variety.