How to clean and prepare live mussels
Take the mussels and pull gently but firmly the little ‘beard’ they have. When you do this, the mussel closes.
DISCARD the ones that haven’t closed after a few minutes. Give them a good wash, cleaning them of barnacles and whatever dirt they may have. Ready to cook.
For Pasquale’s Mussels (serves -in our case 2 +2 next day)
1 kilo of mussels
1 large onion or 2 small ones, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 can of tomato + 1 carton of passata (if you have nice and over-ripe tomatoes it’s clearly better)
2 whole dried chili peppers (or chilli flakes)
Salt & pepper
The original said sugar, but I didn’t put because I used…
…1/3 of a bottle of medium white wine
Fresh parsley if you have it, chopped
In a large saucepan sauté onions, garlic and chili peppers in some olive oil. Add the tomatoes with a drop of water (if you’re using passata) and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it’s reduced. Add the mussels, wine and salt & pepper, and allow to cook for about 15 minutes (they say 5 for mussels but I’m not taking any chances). All mussels should have opened by now. DISCARD any that haven’t opened-getting food poisoning isn’t worth it 🙂
Serve with some rice and sprinkle your freshly chopped parsley on top.
Spaghetti with mussels (or mussel sauce)
You will have either a fair quantity of mussels left, or maybe just the sauce.
Re-heat the mussels. In another saucepan boil some spaghetti. Drain the spaghetti and return to the saucepan. Using a soup ladle, take the mussel sauce and mix it with the spaghetti, until you’re happy it’s enough. Serve the spaghetti with the mussels on top. Italians in general don’t go for grated cheese with seafood, but Mrs M. grated some parmesan none the less.