CLASSIC pasta spaghetti with mussels and tomato
         

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This is a variation for spaghetti with mussels, similar to spaghetti con vongole (clams), but with a tomato sauce.

for the sauce:

  • three pounds fresh mussels
  • three tablespoons olive oil
  • one small onion, diced
  • three cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • fourteen ounces (about one and a half cups) canned imported Italian tomatoes, peeled
  • one cup white wine
  • one tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • two tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper

for the pasta:

  • one pound spaghetti

Put the mussels in cold water. Clean off the beards and scrub them. Thrown away any that are open.

Drain and roughly chop the tomatoes.

Heat the oil in a saute pan, add the garlic and onion and cook for two minutes. Add the tomatoes, white wine, basil and parsley. Stir with your wooden spoon. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer, for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes start to meld into the sauce. (but not too much, keep some of the integrity of the tomatoes).

Add the mussels. Turn up the heat a little and cover. Cook until the mussels are open, about five minutes. Discard any mussels that refuse to open.

In five quarts of raging boiling water, add two tablespoons salt. Add the spaghetti. Cook until al dente, then drain.

If you are very careful, add the spaghetti to the heated mussels and tomato sauce and stir it in very gently. Another option is to stir the mussels and sauce over the spaghetti on the serving plates. A sprig of parsley would be nice.

 


 

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