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Home > Recipes > Mussel Recipes > Cavatelli with Mussels, Lillet and Dill


  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

  • 2 dill sprigs, plus 1 tablespoon chopped dill

  • 1/4 cup Lillet or dry vermouth

  • 3/4 cup crème fraîche

  • 1 small shallot, minced

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated grapefruit zest (optional)

  • 12 ounces fresh cavatelli

  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the mussels, wine, dill sprigs and 2 tablespoons of the Lillet and bring to a boil. Cover and steam until the mussels open, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mussels to a bowl and strain the juices into a medium bowl. Remove the mussels from their shells; discard any mussels that don't open. Rinse out the saucepan.

  2. Return the juices to the saucepan and simmer until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Stir in the crème fraîche, shallot and the lemon and grapefruit zests.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until nearly al dente; drain. Add the pasta to the saucepan along with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Lillet. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. Stir in the mussels and chopped dill and season the pasta with pepper. Serve right away.

Suggested Pairing

Briny, crisp Muscadet

Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine