Geraci Recipe: Linguine with Mussels

img_3644Mussels are tasty little shellfish. They have an elongated black shell and the inside is a mussel that holds the shell closed. The inside of the mussel is not all slimy like the oyster. So, the mussel has an entirely different taste. As with any shellfish, it has to be alive when you cook it, unless you’re buying it precooked. You can buy precooked mussels, just like crab meat. What I like to do is find fresh mussels, that are still alive; and the way you know they’re still alive is that the shell will, if it is open a bit, close when you tap it. So if you see a bag of mussels, and the shells are all closed, they’re probably still alive. If they’re not still alive, the shell will be open, and will not close when you tap. Throw that sucker out. Never eat a mussel that has its shell open and doesn’t close when you tap or when you rinse it with cold water.

So anyway, mussels are pretty cheap, they are farm raised, and they are tasty eating.  Here are the ingredients you need:

A 2 pound bag of mussels,

A pound of linguine,

Some garlic olive oil parsley,

A can of chopped tomatoes,

A chopped up onion,

Some Parmesan cheese.

*That is all you need.

img_3643Empty your bag of mussels into a bowl of cold water, or the sink. They should all be closed. Pick out any mussel that is not closed and throw it out. Take a large frying pan or saucepan the largest you have, like 12 inches. Then set the spaghetti water on to boil in the meantime. Add a little olive oil and salt into the water. Did I say spaghetti? I meant to say linguine! What’s the difference. Linguine is flat spaghetti is around. And linguine tastes a little different as far as mouth feel. So, it’s linguine with clams or mussels, and it’s spaghetti with meatballs. Don’t ask me why, it just is

While your water is boiling you can chop up some garlic and put it in the saucepan, with olive oil, and turn it up to high heat and then turn off. Let the garlic cook with the fire off otherwise you’ll burn it up. Put your one can of chopped tomatoes into the saucepan, and if you like onions, chop up a yellow onion before you put it in the sauce and sauté it with the garlic. When your water comes to a boil  put in your linguine. Heat up the sauce till it’s boiling, put the mussels in the sauce and put a cover on the pan to let it cook in steam. Don’t have your fire under the pan too hot or you’ll burn up your sauce. That’s how you cook the mussels, they steam in the boiling sauce. When your linguine is ready strain it put it on the pan with the linguine and mussels.

Now you have a big saucepan and it’s got tomatoes taken up the sauce.  You’ve got your mussels which as of now are all opened up and are cooked.  Add your linguine and mix it all around in the pan.  Put some Parmesan cheese in the mix, all graded up, and you can serve it all as a one dish meal. If you used a pound of linguine and 2 pounds of mussels, you’ve got a meal for four, or a meal for two with plenty left over for lunches, or another dinner.

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