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Toronto Chef Angela Villalta’s Winning Pasta

Chef Angela Villalta’s Barilla Capellini Pasta P.E.I Mussels, Sea Urchin and Lemon Zest

On Sunday June 10th, four young Toronto chefs competed for the chance to represent Canada at the Barilla Pasta World Masters in Milan, Italy. Chef Angela Villalta from L’Unita came out on top with this Capellini and Sea Urchin with PEI Mussel recipe. Chef Villalta, a recent Chopped Canada champion and graduate of George Brown College, has been cooking in kitchens since she was 14 years old and further refined her studies in Italy under Chef Alessandro Boglione. Angela will go on to compete in the seventh annual World Pasta Masters against 17 other chefs from countries all over the world in Milan, Italy this October, with the aim of showcasing a mastery of pasta to the judges.


Serving: 2 people

  • 3 ¾ cups (200g) Barilla Capellini
  • 1lb P.E.I. mussels
  • 6 pieces of fresh sea urchin (comes in wooden box/white tray)
  • 3 pieces of garlic
  • 1 lemon juiced (rind saved for zest)
  • ¼ bunch parsley
  • ¼ cup (1/8 lb) butter softened
  • 1 smoking chip
  • To taste salt
  • To taste olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup water (or fish stock)
  • 1 tsp dried Calabrian chillies
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch


  1. Place sliced 2 pieces of garlic, chillies and olive oil in a medium sized saucepan on medium heat. Once the garlic is golden, add rinsed PEI mussels. Add white wine and cover, cooking until mussels open.
  2. Remove mussels and pull meat out of the shell. Once meat is pulled out, heat up another medium pan on medium heat until hot. Place mussel meat in the pan. Add smoking chip (light on fire) and smoke for ten minutes.
  3. As mussels smoke, strain the liquid from the mussels twice and reserve.
  4. Add half of butter portion to a food processer and mix until smooth. Add 2 pieces of sea urchin, lemon zest and salt and blend to combine. Set aside.
  5. Put a medium sized pot of water on and turn to high heat for pasta.
  6. In a pot, simmer 1 piece of garlic in olive oil on medium heat. When golden, add half of the reserved mussel liquid and blend with hand blender. Add 2 pieces of sea urchin to the pot and season, slowly adding lemon juice, olive oil and other half of butter to emulsify, continually stirring. Add in corn starch while mixing sauce. Once sauce is smooth, remove from heat and set aside.
  7. Finely chop parsley and add Barilla Capellini to pot of boiling water. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  8. To assemble, add a bit of olive oil, one piece of garlic and reserved lemon zest. When pasta is cooked, add it into the pan and toss. Add remainder of mussel liquid to pasta. Then, slowly add sea urchin, butter and mussels. Plate. Add chopped parsley and pour over top the sea urchin sauce. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Buono Appetito!

For more flavourful inspiration and recipes, visit from Barilla

Chef Angela Villalta
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