Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Mussels with white wine (can be done with pasta)

This is a versatile dish as its kind of 2 meals in 1, the mussels themselves are perfect with a chunk of French bread and butter and a green salad, but to make them more substantial and to eak out the mussels if you are feeding a few people, the simple addition of pasta to the sauce gives the dish a different dimension.  They also make a great starter.
A quick note about mussels, getting fresh shellfish is really really important, if you eat a baddie then you’ll know about it, they can make you very poorly.  You need to eat mussels alive.  You can test if they are alive or not by following the below steps.


If the mussel is closed its good and you can use it.
If the mussel is open give it a sharp tap and if it closes then its alive and you can use it, if it doesn’t close then its dead and you must discard it.
If any mussels have remained closed discard them, they are dead.

Serves 2
A glug of olive oil
1 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
2 shallots, sliced
400g mussels in shells, beards removed (get your fishmonger to do it for you)
100ml white wine
70ml double cream
A bunch of chopped fresh parsley
300g pasta of your choice, I like spaghetti or linguini
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lemon juice only.

Cook the pasta as per the pack instructions in lots of salted boiling water, get this on first as the mussels will only take 5 minutes.
For the mussels, heat the olive oil in a lidded saucepan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté for two minutes, until softened.
Add the mussels and white wine, stir well and place the lid on. Allow the mussels to steam for 3-4 minutes, then remove the lid and check that all the mussels have opened. Discard any that have not opened.
Remove the mussels from the pan into a separate bowl.

Add the double cream, fresh parsley and cooked pasta to the pan and stir adding the lemon juice, salt and pepper..

Add the pasta direct from the water it was boiled in to the mussels pan, a bit of water wont hurt it.  Drizzle with extra virgin oil and a little more parsley.

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