I couldn't resist when I saw fresh mussels for $3.99 per pound today. The seafood guy handed me a bag with $3.11 worth of mussels. He very carefully picked over them to make sure they were all tightly closed. I appreciate that. There is nothing worse than coming home with mussels to find them already open and not fit to cook.
I found a nice 2011 Chardonnay by Schuck's Fish White Wine, a California north coast wine. I loved the packaging and it was perfect in the sauce. If you haven't tried mussels, you simply must, especially with white wine sauce, linguine, and a crusty French bread for dunking.
- ¾ lbs. fresh mussels
- 4 TBS butter
- 2 cups Chardonnay or other dry white wine
- 2 shallots (finely diced)
- 3 cloves fresh garlic (minced)
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Fresh parsley (chopped)
- Juice of one lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Linguine (al dente, as many servings as needed)
- In a large colander rinse mussels under cold running water again. Mussels should be tightly closed. If a mussel is open it should be discarded and not eaten. If beards are present they should be pulled off for best presentation.
- Melt 2 TBS butter on medium heat in large frying pan. Add chopped onions and garlic and cook until just translucent. Pour in wine with pan removed from stove to prevent flare-up. Add a scant handful of chopped parsley, retaining half for garnish. Add pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Mussels are salty so you probably won’t need to add any salt. Cook the sauce until the wine reduces by half. Add the remaining butter to help thicken the sauce slightly. If it doesn’t look buttery enough, add some more. Mussels love butter! This would be a good time to cook your pasta. With the white wine sauce simmering, place the drained mussels into the pan and stir as the shells open. Continue cooking the mussels for about 5 minutes. Do not overcook or they will be rubbery. Discard any that do not open.
- Place the cooked pasta in a big bowl. Pour the mussels and wine sauce over the pasta and garnish with a handful of fresh parsley. Enjoy with a green salad and a crusty white bread.