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This dish is guaranteed to get you into the weekend mode. The maritime mussel flavour with a piquant hint of white wine and a warm chilli kick is a delicious combination that will please even the most discerning palate. In addition, it’s very quick to make, so there’ll be plenty of time over for you to relax and enjoy the evening.
Brush the mussels clean in cold water and scrape off any beards. Throw away broken mussels and mussels that do not close when the shell is tapped. Let the mussels lie in cold water until you’re ready to boil them.
Chop the onion, fennel and chilli. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and sauté the onion and fennel with garlic crushed under the blade of a knife. When the onions have softened, add the chilli and sauté. Pour in the white wine and bring to boil. Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the mussels and pour them into the boiling white wine mix, shake the sauté pan and cover with a lid. Boil water for the pasta and cook according to the package instructions.
Cook the mussels for about five minutes, until they are opened. Shake the sauté pan every now and then.
Pour the cooked and drained pasta into the pan, stir gently and move all of it into a serving bowl. Decorate with chopped parsley and a dash of good olive oil and serve.
The mussel season lasts from September to April. That’s when the mussels are at their freshest. Any kind of mussels can be used in this pasta, but the blue mussel brings a certain rustic elegance to the dish thanks to its glistening black-blue shell.
Traditionally, mussel pasta is made from spaghetti, but get creative! Try pappardelle or tagliatelle, and replace durum wheat with whole grain or spelt.
Undercooked beats overcooked. Remember ‘al dente’!