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Categories: Fish and shellfish, Main courses

Spaghetti With Mussels and Tomatoes

Spaghetti With Mussels and Tomatoes
Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Artisanal pastas--dried noodles made (at least ostensibly) in small batches by traditional methods and sold for higher prices--seem to be everywhere these days. Shop at any high-end grocery store and you'll find at least three or four brands. Think of ... Read more

Total time: 15 minutes | Serves 4
Note: This recipe comes from Anna Del Conte's sadly overlooked "Portrait of Pasta" (Paddington Press, 1976).
  • 2 quarts mussels in their shells, about 3 pounds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes or canned chopped plum tomatoes
  • Salt, pepper
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Step 1Place the mussels in a large pan. Cover it and cook them over high heat until they open, 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan. Remove the meat from the shells and discard the shells. Strain the liquid that remains at the bottom of the pan through a cheesecloth and reduce it over high heat if necessary. You will need about 1 cup liquid.

Step 2Put the oil and garlic in a skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the tomatoes (if you are using canned tomatoes, discard the liquid first), and boil, uncovered, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the mussel juice and adjust the seasoning.

Step 3Add the remaining mussel juice to rapidly boiling salted water and cook the spaghetti until tender, about 9 minutes.

Step 4Add the mussels to the tomato sauce, reduce the heat to low and heat them gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley.

Step 5Drain the pasta and turn it into a hot serving dish. Pour the sauce over it and mix well.

Each serving:
461 calories; 682 mg sodium; 64 mg cholesterol; 19 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 39 grams carbohydrates; 32 grams protein; 2.39 grams fiber.
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