1 handful of good quality cherry tomatoes on the vine
130g linguine pasta per person
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Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with olive oil. Remember that in this recipe the oil is essentially the pasta sauce, so you need quite a lot. Throw in the garlic clove and heat at medium temperature for 3 - 4 minutes.
Add the handful of cherry tomatoes and the chilli flakes. Lower the temperature and allow the sauce to simmer away and the flavours to deepen.
Meanwhile, rinse the mussels and pull off any beardy bits. Pour 1/4 cup of water into a saucepan. Add the mussels and cover. Heat at high temperature until the water froths up and the mussels are all open.
Making sure to conserve the cooking water in a bowl, drain the mussels. Allow to cool, then discard two thirds of the shells, leaving the other third inside their shells.
Put a large saucepan of water on to boil for the pasta. When boiling, add 1tbs of salt to the pasta water and throw in the linguine.
While the pasta is cooking, remove the garlic from the saucepan and discard. Add the mussels to the tomato sauce along with a ladle of their conserved cooking water. Allow to simmer at a low heat. Add a handful of chopped fresh parsley.
Drain the pasta and mix well with sauce. Serve hot with crusty bread.
Unfiltered olive oil such as Il Casolare works best for making pasta sauces.