Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spicy Mussels Marinara

I love mussels and often order them when I'm out to eat. My favorites right now are those at Pop's Restaurant in Durham. They are nice and spicy with great flavors of garlic and tomatoes. Although I've had mussels at a number of different restaurants, I've never made them at home. For one reason, they aren't always available at the fish counter. And the other is that I just don't think to do so. But when Harris Teeter had mussels on special, I couldn't pass on the opportunity to try them at home. They are super easy to make and this simple sauce was delicious over pasta. Mussels are great because they tell you when they are done by opening up. Those that don't open aren't good anyway, and should be discarded. So next time your fish counter is selling mussels, definitely pick some up. The other ingredients are all things you can keep on hand. Be careful when adding salt to the sauce as the mussels add a lot of salt themselves.

Spicy Mussels Marinara
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced small
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 -1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bag mussels
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound pasta (I used whole wheat linguini)
Heat olive oil in a large pot with a lid.
Saute the shallot and garlic together for a few minutes.
Stir in the red pepper flakes and cook for about 30 seconds.
Add the diced tomatoes, oregano, basil and white wine.
Simmer for a few minutes to combine flavors.
Clean the mussels and discard any that are broken.
Toss the mussels in the sauce and cover.
Let them steam for about 3 to 4 minutes and then check them.
Remove any that are wide open, stir and recover.
Repeat this process a few times until most of the mussels are open; discard any that fail to open.
Taste the sauce and add a pinch of salt and pepper if needed.
While the mussels are cooking, cook the pasta in boiling salted water.
Portion the pasta out and spoon some of the sauce onto each portion.
Add the mussels and serve with an extra bowl for discarding the shells.

For a printable recipe click here

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