3.5 litres/6 pints mussels, scrubbed
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped very finely
500 ml/18 1 oz dry white wine
1 bay leaf 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
5 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
4 tbsp butter salt and pepper
450 g/1 lb dried tagliatelle or other broad-ribboned pasta
Clean the mussels by scrubbing the shells and pulling out any beards that are attached. Rinse well, discarding any with broken shells or that remain open when tapped. Put the onion, garlic, white wine, herbs and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Add the mussels. Season to taste. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan, until the mussels open. Remove from the heat. Lift out the mussels with a perforated spoon, reserving the liquid. Discard any that remain closed. Remove most of the others from their shells, reserving a few in their shells to garnish.
Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and put the pasta into bowls. Spoon the mussels over the pasta. Strain the mussel liquid and return to the pan. Add the remaining butter and heat until melted. Pour over the pasta, garnish with the mussels in their shells and serve immediately.