Oh my goodness… My cooking regimen has become pretty lazy this last month or so. I’m all about getting in and out of the kitchen quickly, making as small of a mess as possible, and not heating up the whole house for hours on end.
This is one of my favorite things to make in the summer. We enjoy mussels in a classic white wine garlic sauce, OR like this…
To clean mussels:
Scrub them with a brush under cold water and scrape off any barnacles with a knife. If the “beard,” is still attached (most cultivated mussels have been trimmed mechanically), remove it by pulling it from tip to hinge or pulling and cutting it off with a sharp knife. Do this just before cooking. Discard any mussels with cracked or open shells.
To steam mussels:
For 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds mussels, put 1 cup liquid (water or a mix of water and dry white wine or light colored beer) in a 4 to 6-quart pot. Bring to a boil, then pour in the mussels and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mussels open wide. This will take 3 to 6 minutes, but check frequently after 3 minutes. Scoop out the mussels with a slotted spoon (discard any that are unopened) and save the flavorful liquor, for fish soup, stew or chowder, if desired.
Heat a jar of your favorite Arrabbiata sauce until simmering. (We love Pomodori Gourmet Foods Arrabbiata Sauce and Trader Joe’s Arrabiata Sauce.) Place the mussels in a big bowl and pour the Arrabbiata sauce over the mussels. Sprinkle a generous amount of Parmesan cheese on top of everything. Garnish with a bunch of fresh basil sprigs. Serve with fresh garlic bread or toasted, buttered baguette slices. Enjoy with a glass of your favorite red or white wine (Chianti or Sauvingnon Blanc are especially good with this dish!)