Prep 30 mins
Cook 10 mins
This is a wonderful, inexpensive dish that's great for a crowd. The broth-like sauce is light, yet full of great flavor. I choose not to add any butter, but rather use the lighter taste of olive oil for the fat in this dish. A word of caution: this recipe feeds about 6, but takes up a lot of room, especially once the mussels are all opened in their shells. I gave a small hint at the end of how one might serve this without overflowing their bowl. You might also like to spoon the pasta into individual serving bowls, and then top each one with mussels and broth, whichever you prefer. Use your best judgment!
- 2 lbs mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
- 1 lemon
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1 lb your favorite pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 shallots, minced
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced paper-thin
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2 cups fish stock (chicken or vegetable ok - can sub 1 cup white wine and 1 cup stock as well)
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup fresh basil leaf, torn
- 1 loaf crusty bread, for serving
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
- The following step is optional, but it works really well.
- After youve given the mussels a quick scrub and pulled off any of the beards, place them in a large bowl filled with cold water and several ice cubes.
- Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the water, toss in the squeezed halves, and add the heaping tsp of salt.
- Allow mussels to sit for about ½ an hour, and they will spit out any sand or other stuff that might be inside their shells.
- (This is an old Neapolitan trick my husbands mother used for all shellfish).
- After about ½ hour, drain mussels, give then a quick rinse under come running cold water and set aside while you make the broth.
- Preheat large skillet over medium heat, and add olive oil.
- Next add the minced shallots, and sauté for a minute or two.
- Add the sliced garlic, and crushed red pepper to taste, and sauté for another minute, careful not to let the garlic get too brown.
- Slowly add the fish stock.
- (If using wine and stock, add the wine first, bring it up to a boil and then add the fish stock) Let the stock simmer for a few minutes with the shallot and garlic, and then add the diced tomatoes.
- When sauce comes to a boil, add the mussels to the pan, give then a quick toss, and put the lid on and let stem for about 3-5 minutes.
- Add pasta to boiling water and cook for 7 minutes, or until done to your liking.
- When mussels have all opened, turn off the heat, give them another stir to get all the liquid up from the bottom, add the fresh basil and put the lid back until the pasta is finished.
- Drain pasta.
- To Serve: Unless you have an enormous pasta-serving bowl, heres what I suggest.
- Add a couple ladles of the cooking broth in the bottom of your serving bowl and add about half of the pasta.
- Scoop out about half of the mussels with broth and lay over top the pasta until bowl is filled.
- Add the remaining pasta back into the skillet with the rest of the broth and mussels.