Its Friday, and we love fish on Friday, or maybe we just like to say it!. Today’s recipe Spaghetti con le Cozze (Mussels), like it’s sister Spaghetti con le Vongole (Clams) is another one of our favorite dishes here in Venice. Mussels, so versatile, can be prepared so many ways, stuffed, fried, curried, or in seafood salads, but one of our favorite ways to cook mussels is to simply sauté them and use them as a sauce for spaghetti. So, to honor Fish on Friday, here is a simple recipe for Spaghetti con le Cozze…let’s cook!!
Spaghetti with Mussels
If you like Mussels, then you will love this spaghetti!
6 lbs of fresh mussels
6 tbls extra virgin olive oil
fresh hot pepper to taste
4 large ripe plum tomatoes
2 tbls fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
1 1/2 cups of dry white wine
Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
6 cloves of garlic
1 lb of imported high quality spaghetti
Step 1 Mussels
Fill your sink with cold water and place the mussels into the water. Scrub and de-beard the mussels by pulling the black string-like piece that is attached out carefully so as to not disturb the mussel inside. Place in a colander.
-In a lidded pot large enough to contain the mussels, add 2 tbls of olive oil and 3 cloves of garlic sliced or smashed lightly, brown the garlic on a lively heat
-Carefully pour the mussels into the pot with the hot oil and garlic, add the white wine, stir the mussel, place the lid and cook until all the mussels open, stirring occasionally, the cooking time is less than 10 minutes, keep your eye on the mussels
-When all mussels open take the pot off the heat and let the mussels cool
-When the mussels are cool enough to touch, take them out of their shell, place in a bowl, discard the shell… Important, Do not discard the cooking liquid. Note-mussels that do not open, do not force them open, discard them.
-With a paper towel inside of a strainer, strain the cooking liquid of the mussels and set aside
Step 2- The Sauce
-Bring a small pot of water to boil
-Make an X on the stem top of the tomatoes, when the water boils, drop the tomatoes into the water for 1 minute, remove, let cool, peel off the tomato’s skin, cut the tomato in half, remove the seeds, chop the tomatoes into cubes
-In a wok style skillet, large enough to cook off the spaghetti, add 4 tbls olive oil and 3 cloves of garlic either diced or pressed, and hot pepper to your heat preference, lightly brown the garlic, add the tomatoes, cook until the tomatoes start to break down, salt and pepper to taste.
-Add 1 1/2 cup of the strained mussel cooking liquid, cook along with the tomatoes until the liquid reduces, add the mussels into the sauce stir well and let rest while you cook the spaghetti
Step 3 – The Spaghetti
-In a pasta pot bring water to boil
-Add Sea Salt, the Spaghetti, and cook for 1 minute less than package indicates
-Place the sauce back on a lively heat
-With a pasta fork, scoop the pasta out of its water, drain each forkful well on top of the pasta water
-Add the pasta to the mussel sauce incorporating the sauce with the pasta, over a lively heat, stirring, add the chopped parsley (note-if sauce seems dry, add more of the mussel cooking broth)
Serve and Enjoy