This dish evokes so many memories of the sea and the sunshine of that beautiful coastline. The flavours of southern Italy are so distinctive. So, get transported to the Italian seaside with this recipe for mussel linguine. This combination of mussels with plenty of garlic, parsley, saffron and white wine was inspired by the Venetian soup zuppa de peoci, which is usually ladled over sliced crusty bread. Here we serve it over linguine. Enjoy!
- 8 ounces whole-wheat linguine or spaghetti
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes with basil
- Big pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 2 tablespoons water or white wine
- 2 pounds mussels, cleaned
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- Big pinch of crushed red pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Cover to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until it just begins to color, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully add crushed tomatoes and saffron with soaking liquid (the mixture may splatter) and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring mussels and wine to a boil in a Dutch oven (or other large pot) over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook until the mussels open, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the mussels with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. (Discard any unopened mussels.)
- Strain the mussel broth through a fine-mesh sieve into the tomato sauce. Stir in crushed red pepper and simmer over medium heat for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle about half the sauce over the pasta and toss to coat. Divide the pasta among 4 pasta bowls, top with mussels and spoon the remaining sauce over the mussels. Serve topped with parsley and lemon zest.