Showing Off Some Mussels

Brian and I picked up a few pounds of fresh mussels at the farmers’ market over the weekend. And you know what? I don’t know why we haven’t done so more often. The dinner we whipped up was full of flavor, super inexpensive and quick to make. Once the mussels are cleaned and debearded it only takes about 15 minutes to bring everything else together.

Mussels Marinara With Beer by

Mussels Marinara With Beer by

This meal works well for date night (just make a bit less pasta) or for a crowd (you could easily double this one). Go ahead, make some mussels!

Mussels Marinara With Beer

Makes 4 servings

  • salt
  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (such as Muir Glen Fire Roasted Crusted Tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 sprigs tarragon, leaves removed and roughly chopped
  • pepper
  • 1 12-ounce bottle light beer
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded

1. Heat a large pot of salted water over medium and cook the pasta according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat the butter, garlic and onions in a large pan over medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the unions are translucent.

3. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, parsley and tarragon. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook until heated through, then add the beer.

4. Gently add the mussels to the broth and toss to coat. Put a lid on and cook for 3 minutes, stir, then cook for 3 minutes more. The muscles are done once they are all opened. Discard any that stay closed.

5. Divide the pasta evenly among four plates and top with mussels. Serve immediately with crusty bread if desired.

SWWU Tip: We served our mussels over pasta, but this dinner would be just as good noodle-free and served with a few extra pieces of Garlic Parmesan Toast to soak up the delicious broth.

Garlic Parmesan Toast

Makes 4 servings

  • 4 pieces thickly cut peasant bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • garlic powder (we like Salento Farm)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. Heat oven to 425°F. Coat bread with butter and sprinkle with garlic powder to taste. Top each piece with 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano.

2. Place bread on a baking sheet and cook for 5 minutes until browned and bubbly. Remove from oven, cut each piece in half lengthwise and serve immediately.

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2 thoughts on “Showing Off Some Mussels

    • Not at all. Just use a brush, similar to what you would scrub a potato with, to clean the outside under some running cold water. Then, pull the beard to the back (hinge end) of the mussel until it comes off. Also be sure to discard any that are broken.

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