Anna’s Eats: Student Simple But Delicious Mussel Pasta

(Photo by Anna Matikainen)

*You can read Anna’s original post and the rest of her blog here.*

My roommates and I were enjoying a relaxing Sunday and I decided to make something special for dinner. I went to Zehr’s market and mussels were on special — $3.99 for 2 pounds! So I decided to make a simple, but delicious mussel pasta. The nice thing about this dish is that the broth from the mussels is added to the pasta sauce itself to complete it and incredible flavour. What I  like about this recipe is that it is elegant and yet rather simple to make and therefore it’s impressive even though it doesn’t take all that much effort on your part. One key thing to remember when cooking mussels: if the shell is not open, do NOT pry it open, just throw it away!

1 lb of mussels
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp of dijon mustard
1/2 a lemon, squeezed
3/4 of a bottle of wine
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tomato, diced

2 small handfulls of linguine
olive oil
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 cups of cream
mussel broth
a nice big handful of spinach

We start with the mussels. Combine everything but the mussels in a nice big pot and bring to a simmer for about five minutes. You may notice there is not a lot of liquid in the pot, but that is how it’s supposed to be. After cleaning the mussels (in cold water) toss them in the pot and put the lid on. Let them steam for about five minutes then take the lid off and give them a little stir, then cover and let cook for another five minutes. Now they should be open and cooked, take them off the heat and separate the mussels from the broth.

Now you can start the pasta, put a pot of water to boil and then cook the linguine until al dente. Once you have the water on, you can start the sauce, coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of olive oil and put on medium heat. Add the garlic and let it cook. Turn the heat down and add the cream. Add the peppers, shallots, and tomato from the mussel broth and then add the pasta. Mix in the pasta then slowly add the mussel broth until you have your desired flavour. Toss in the spinach just until it wilts. Now plate the pasta and fan the mussels on top, garnish with a little salt and pepper and some chopped fresh parsley if you have it. And there you go! A delicious, quick, and elegant dish!

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