I spent a summer in PEI when I was (much) younger. Our cabin overlooked the very water from which we dug the mussels for our dinner almost daily.
Even now, some 30 years later, (oh, wait, I’m sure its only been 3 years!) whenever I see a package of mussels, I am, briefly, transported back there. Its good to have such memories.
Of course, because of Kevin’s allergy, I rarely cook shellfish anymore. Since I was dining alone last week, I could not pass up that package of mussels I found in Costco!
Bonus: I put this all together in 35 minutes! It is quick enough for a weeknight meal, yet impressive enough to serve guests. If you do your prep work in advance, you will be able enjoy cocktails with your guests and whip this up in the time it takes to cook the spaghetti !
This will serve 2 and can easily be doubled.
Mussels in White Wine with Linguine & Fresh Herbs
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 cup white wine (I used a Barefoot Pinot Grigio, but any white you like to drink will work here)
1 pound mussels, rinsed, scrubbed & beards removed
250 grams linguine
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (I had mint, cilantro, parsley & basil on hand, but toss in whatever you happen to have)
1 small tomato, diced
Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
Heat oil and butter in a large, heavy pan over medium heat. Once foam subsides, cook garlic, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper until garlic is softened and begins to brown, 3 – 4 minutes.
Add wine and boil about 4 minutes, until liquid is reduced by half. Add mussels, give the pan a good shake, cover and cook, shaking occasionally, until mussels open wide. 5 -8 minutes. Turn heat off. Remove mussels from the broth, discarding any that have not opened.
While mussels are cooking, add linguine to the pot of boiling salted water and cook until just slightly underdone.
Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.
Add 1/4 cup pasta water to the mussel broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, add drained linguine, tossing with tongs until linguine is coated in sauce. About 1 minute. Thin sauce with additional pasta water if needed.
Divide linguine and mussels between 2 plates. Sprinkle chopped herbs and tomatoes over top and serve immediately.