BETTER THAN RESTAURANT SPAGHETTI WITH MUSSELS
INGREDIENTS For 4 people
•1.2 Kg fresh mussels
•320 bronze die spaghetti
•400 g ripe grape or cherry tomatoes
•125 ml EVOO
•125 ml white wine
•3 garlic cloves
•4 parsley stems
•1/4 cup minced Italian parsley
•1 small chili pepper
•Salt to taste
1. Wash, scrub and debeard the mussels. This can be done a day ahead and mussels can be kept in the refrigerator covered with a damp towel, or you can store them in ice in the fridge, but you must have a way for the melted ice to drain so the mussels don't submerge.
2. Add half the oil to a wide pan on medium heat, with the garlic, 2-3 parsley stems and the chili pepper.
3. When you can smell the garlic, about 30 seconds, add the mussels, the white wine and cover.
4. Stir mussels every couple of minutes and when they start to open, remove them and set them aside in a bowl.
5. Reduce the cooking liquid for one minute, then strain it through a coffee filter or a cheesecloth on a sieve and set it aside.
6. Add the other half of the oil to the pan with the garlic and the remaining parsley stems and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
7. Add the halved tomatoes, season with salt and cover.
8. When the mussels have cooled, take them out of their shells, except for 3 or 4 per person which you are going to use as garnish.
9. Once the tomatoes start to soften, add the mussels' cooking liquid to the tomatoes and reduce heat to low. You don't want the liquid to reduce too much.
10. Start cooking your pasta and once it's cooked half way, add it to
the sauce with a ladel of pasta water.
11. This method is called "risottare" because, just like with risotto, we are cooking the pasta by adding hot liquid to the pan, and stirring to form a creamy sauce.
12. Continue until the pasta is al dente and turn off the heat.
13. Add 1/4 of the shelled mussels, a generous drizzle of EVOO, lots of minced parsley, toss, plate and garnish with the mussels in the shells.
14. Enjoy this work of art!
Buon Appetito amici!