My entire life I grew up eating seafood. My dad owns a boat & some of my fondest memories take place on the water with my family, either fishing or clamming in Cape Cod. I don’t think there’s a type of fish, crustacean or other sea creature I wouldn’t eat. One of my favorites & one of the easiest types of shellfish to cook are Mussels. They take about five minutes to cook & you’ll know they’re done when their shells open. Never eat Mussels, or any shellfish for that matter, that don’t open when they are cooked. That means they were dead when you bought them & they need to be thrown away.
Below is my recipe for Mussels in a spicy tomato sauce over Linguine. For a lighter version of this dish, which actually makes for a delicious & easy appetizer for a dinner party, exclude the pasta & double the amount of Mussels. For those not keen on spice, I would also suggest excluding the Harissa & just using a pinch of red pepper flakes for flavor. If you’re like me though, the more you sweat the better & the Harissa adds a nice kick!
1/2 pound fresh Mussels
1 cup Linguine
3 Roma tomatoes [diced]
1 cup crushed tomatoes
2/3 cups red wine
1 teaspoon Harissa paste
3 cloves garlic [minced]
7 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper to taste
Chopped Parsley for garnish
Crunchy bread [optional]
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Boil water for the Linguine. While water comes to a boil, dice garlic & tomatoes & pre-chop Parsley for garnish.
In a deep pot, heat olive oil & sauté garlic & tomatoes for a few minutes until fragrant.
Add 1 cup crushed tomatoes to the pot along with red wine, Harissa paste, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper & the Bay leaf. Stir ingredients together & let simmer on medium heat until it starts to thicken & come to a boil.
When sauce comes to a boil, lower heat a bit & add Mussels. Once shells have opened, cook for 1-2 more minutes then remove from pot & place in a separate bowl.
Once pasta is done cooking, drain & assemble in a bowl. Spoon over tomato sauce & arrange Mussels on top.
Garnish with chopped Parsley & enjoy!