Mussels over Linguine

A pound of mussels, a little cooked pasta, and a loaf of crusty bread makes a deliciously easy dinner. Once the mussels are cleaned, the meal is very quick to prepare. We could have added some butter at the end to complete the sauce, but we keep it low-fat tonight.

Servings and Times

Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

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We begin by peeling the garlic, then slicing thinly – yielding 2 tablespoons – and adding it to a large pot with the olive oil. We start heating the garlic and oil over low heat. We fill our pasta pot with water and start heating it on the stove, while we clean the mussels.

We scrub and debeard each closed mussel well under running cold water. We place the mussels in a large bowl. The mussels are rather dirty, so it takes us about 15 minutes to clean them.

We add the red pepper flakes to the garlic and oil, and raise the heat to medium. Next, we add one teaspoon of the parsley, the bay leaf, a little salt, some freshly ground black pepper, and the stock to the pot. We simmer and meld the flavors for a couple of minutes.

When the pasta water is boiling, we add some salt and the linguine.

While the pasta is cooking, we add the closed mussels, (any that are open and do not close when tapped against the bowl are discarded), to the garlic pot and cover. We cook over medium heat, shaking the pot occasionally, and cook for about 5 minutes until all the mussels have opened.

We remove the opened mussels to a serving dish (covering with foil to keep warm). We add ½ cup of the water in which the pasta is cooking to the sauce created by the cooked mussels, garlicky oil and stock. We lower the heat to low, discard the bay leaf, and wait for the pasta to be just al dente.

We add the drained cooked linguine to the sauce, stir well, add the rest of the parsley, and serve topped with the reserved mussels and additional red pepper flakes.

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