Mussel Pasta e Fagioli
Chop the bacon and place in a large saucepan on a medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil to get golden, stirring occasionally, while you peel and finely chop the onion and garlic with the parsley stalks, and peel and slice the carrots. Add these to the pan with the chili flakes and cook for 15 minutes, or until softened, still stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes and beans (juice and all) to the pan, then pour in 5 cups of boiling water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, or until fairly thick, stirring occasionally.
Taste the sauce, add a squeeze of lemon juice, then season to perfection. Add the pasta and cook for 7 minutes, then pile the mussels on top of the sauce (tap any that are open and if they don’t close, throw those ones away). Pop the lid on and cook for 5 more minutes, or until all the mussels have just opened (throw away any that remain closed) and the pasta is cooked through. Toss the mussels through the sauce, then chop the parsley leaves and scatter over. Finish with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve right away. Nice with a crisp green salad.