Pasta with Sicilian style mussels recipe

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A delicious pasta dish using fresh mussels, steamed in white wine and herbs and then cooked with olive oil, garlic, capers and black olives. This dish is extremely easy and fast to prepare, provided you have prepared the mussels.
Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 10 minutes, Serves: 2 



Ingredients

For steaming the mussels
2 lb fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs parsley
Black pepper


For the sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp small capers (in brine)
4 black olives, sliced or chopped
1/3 cup (or even a bit more) mussel broth (from steaming the mussels)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)

Spaghetti or linguini for 2 (about 1/2 lb)
Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

To prepare the mussels, if not already prepared, wash them in cold water, scrub them and pull the beard off. Rinse them again under cold water.

To steam the mussels
In a cooking pot add the mussels the white wine, the thyme and parsley, the bay leaf and freshly ground black pepper. Sit the cooking pot over high heat and when the wine comes to a boil, set the heat to low, cover and steam for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, turn the heat off, uncover and move the mussels into another bowl. Remove the mussel meat from the shells and discard the latter. You can leave a few mussels in the shell for decoration. Note: Discard any mussels that have not opened.

Pass the mussel and wine broth through a fine sift, into a bowl, and save it for later.

Start cooking the pasta in lots of boiling and salted water, al dente. While the pasta is cooking prepare the sauce.

To make the sauce
In a saucepan over medium to high heat add the olive oil and heat. Add the garlic, capers and olives and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Take care not to burn the garlic. Add the mussel broth, the butter and the mussels and bring to a boil. Add the parsley and red pepper flakes and stir well.

When the pasta is ready, drain and serve in individual plates. Pour over the sauce, drizzle with some extra olive oil and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

This dish is great when served with freshly made garlic bread.

Notes and tips

This dish should not need any extra salt, because of the saltiness of the mussels, the capers and the black olives. You can still taste it and adjust with extra salt to your liking.
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Step by Step instructions for Pasta with Sicilian style mussels


Step 1

Spaghetti with Sicilian style mussels
Put the mussels in a cooking pot. The mussels must be prepared before (scrubbed and debearded).

Step 2

Spaghetti with Sicilian style mussels
Add the thyme (Fresh thyme is better - if you do not have fresh thyme, you can use dried thyme instead)

Step 3

Spaghetti with Sicilian style mussels
Add the parsley and bay leaf

Step 4

Spaghetti with Sicilian style mussels
Add some black pepper, pour in the white wine and set the heat on, to high.

Step 5

Spaghetti with Sicilian style mussels
Wait for 1 or 2 minutes until the wine comes to a boil.

Step 6

Spaghetti with Sicilian style mussels
Cover the mussels, lower the heat and steam for 10 minutes. When done, take out the mussels and sift the broth and set aside.

Step 7

Spaghetti with Sicilian style mussels
Start making the sauce by sauteing the garlic, capers and olives in the olive oil.

Step 8

Spaghetti with Sicilian style mussels
Add the mussel broth, the butter and the mussels and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 9

Spaghetti with Sicilian style mussels
Add the red pepper flakes and season with extra black pepper, if you like.

Step 10

Spaghetti with Sicilian style mussels
Finally add the chopped parsley and stir to blend all ingredients evenly.

Step 11

Spaghetti with Sicilian style mussels
Serve the mussels with freshly cooked pasta (al dente) and grate some Parmesan cheese on top.

Note that this sauce is not thick like other sauces (such as tomato based sauces) but it is full of flavor. Use a spoon to serve the mussels first and then pour the remaining sauce over the pasta.

Comments

I have to say, this was outstanding!! I used Angel Hair Pasta, Calamata olives, fresh garlic, and we were ready to lick the plates!
Posted by Chef Bruce in VA on Sep 14, 2011, 06:48

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