I’m tiring of the format, reporting how many centimes I’ve spent on garlic and whatnot, so I expect everybody else is too. Instead I’m going to cost dishes from time to time.
It is the mussel season here. I always buy mussels from Globus, having had a dreadful experience at Manor. It’s the old story, you get what you pay for. At Globus the sign may say 15.90CHF/100g for mussels, but it does mean 15.90CHF/kg. So that’s alright then. They are cheaper than truffles.
Today we had them like this.
Spaghetti with mussels
Ingredients for two
200-250g dry weight spaghetti
500g mussels (a generous quantity, it could certainly feed 3, 4 at a pinch)
garlic finely chopped
shallots finely chopped
fresh chillies finely chopped: I used 3 bird’s eye
100-200g good quality tomatoes seeded and slivered
spring onion green tops snipped into small rounds
olive oil for cooking
up to 1 cup of dry white wine
While the spaghetti is boiling, clean the mussels, discard any that are open.
Heat the oil and gently fry the garlic, shallots and chilli until softened. Raise the heat, add the wine and let the alcohol burn off. Add the tomatoes and leave on a low heat, get all those flavours mingling.
1-2 minutes before the spaghetti is cooked, raise the heat to high, throw in the mussels along with the small amount of liquid that will have accumulated with them. Put a lid on the pan. While they are bubbling away, drain the spaghetti – I don’t do this too thoroughly as the whole thing probably needs a little more liquid still. Throw the spaghetti into the pot with the mussel sauce, stir thoroughly, turn off the heat.
Serve with the spring onion scattered on top. You need a bowl for shells and, if you are being posh, finger bowls, it’s a fingery sort of dish.
It is SO good! If you can’t get good tomatoes, consider something more like a vodka cream sauce. Might report on that another day.
Definitely an extravagance, but worth every penny and as I said, the two of us could have made do less mussels without feeling the least hard done by.