SPAGHETTI WITH MUSSELS
With this mouthwatering spaghetti with mussels recipe, also known as spaghetti alle cozze in bianco, you can whip up a delicious Mediterranean meal in a matter of minutes. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare and can be served as a quick meal after work using mostly pantry ingredients.
- 3 dozen mussels (about 1½ pounds)
- 1 pound fresh tomatoes
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 3–4 sprigs flat-leaf Italian parsley
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 8–10 fresh basil leaves
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
- Wash the mussels in several changes of cold water and remove any beards.
- Peel the tomatoes and coarsely chop.
- Peel the garlic and finely chop it. Finely chop enough parsley to measure 1 tablespoon and put it with the garlic, olive oil, and hot red pepper flakes in a deep skillet large enough to hold the pasta later. Place over medium-high heat. After the garlic has sizzled for about 15 seconds, add the wine. Let it bubble for 1 to 2 minutes to evaporate the alcohol, then add the tomatoes. Season with salt and cook for about 2 minutes, then shred the basil and add it to the sauce. Continue to cook the tomatoes until they begin to break down into a sauce, about 3 minutes more.
- Add about 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling pasta water, add the spaghetti, and stir until all the strands are submerged. Cook until very al dente, about 1 minute less than you normally would.
- While the pasta is cooking, put the mussels in the pan with the sauce and cover. Cook until all the mussels have opened, 3 to 4 minutes (if any mussels don’t open, they are probably empty or full of sand, and you should discard them). Remove from the heat.
- When the pasta is ready, drain well, and put it in the pan with the sauce. Return the pan to medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until the pasta has absorbed all the liquid in the pan. The pasta needs to cook another 1 to 2 minutes, so if there isn’t very much liquid in the pan, cover the pan; if there is more liquid, cook uncovered. When the pasta is done, serve at once.