Garlic Butter Mussel Pasta

This Garlic Butter Mussel Pasta with white wine, lemon, chilli flakes, and thyme is an aromatic and relatively light recipe with a complex yet not overwhelmingly strong flavour profile.

Hello, everyone! Happy (upcoming) Easter weekend. Honestly, I even didn’t realize this until last weekend. Thus, I haven’t prepared any special holiday recipes. On the other hand, what could be better than a large bowl of hearty pasta? Best holiday recipe ever!

You probably know me as someone who likes to create compound flavour and texture profiles in pasta recipes. That’snot the case today. This Garlic Butter Mussel Pasta will require, besides pasta and mussels, just a couple of aromatic (and cheap!) ingredients that you most likely already have in your pantry and fridge such as:

  • garlic
  • lemons
  • thyme (Fresh but dry would do too)
  • butter and olive oil
  • chilly flakes

The only thing that you might need to get is some white wine for steaming the mussels. However, no worries – you can always use simple water, and the result will be still great.

To wrap this up, let me wish you a lovely Easter weekend if you’re celebrating. Enjoy all the chocolate eggs, bunnies, and then this Garlic Butter Mussel Pasta.

See you soon!

Garlic Butter Mussel Pasta

Category: Uncategorized

Servings: 2


  • 200-225 gr. pasta of your choice, but preferable spaghetti or fettuccine
  • 1 pound fresh mussels
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced (As always, I use more)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil.
  • a good pinch of red chilly flakes
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • salt


  1. First of all, start with sorting and discarding mussels that are broken or chipped. Note that mussels should be tightly closed. If some of them are open, tap the shell on their hard surface, and if it closes, it’s safe to eat it.
  2. If the mussels look nice and clean (cultivated mussels are normally clean), you don’t need to soak them. Otherwise, soak the mussels in cold water for 15-20 minutes. Personally, although the mussels I had were clean, I still soaked them for 5 minutes before cleaning.
  3. Next, scrub the mussels under cold running water and remove the beards (kind of threads or fibres which are easy to remove by grasping and pulling). Drain the clean mussels. Now the mussels are ready to cook.
  4. Add about 1/2 cup of wine and some water (The liquid should just lightly cover the bottom (about 0,5 cm thick) of the pan. We don’t cook the mussels in liquid – we basically steam it).
  5. Add the mussels in one – maximum two layers, cover, and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until they are open. The mussels which don’t open should be discarded as well. Remove the mussels from the pan and let slightly cool then remove most of the hard shells reserving few whole mussels for decoration. Reserve al the juices as well.
  6. Cook the pasta as directed on package in salted water, until al dente. Drain reserving some (up to a cup) water.
  7. In a pan, combine olive oil and butter over medium heat and cook the garlic and chilli flakes, 5 minutes.
  8. Add the cleaned mussels with juice, thyme, lemon, and salt. Cook 2-3 minutes. Try and season with some salt if necessary.
  9. Cook the pasta as directed on package in salted water, until al dente. Drain reserving some (up to a cup) water.
  10. Combined with the drained pasta and mix, adding some reserved water, if necessary, to thin out the sauce.
  11. Let stand for a minute and serve.
  12. Enjoy!

5 thoughts on “Garlic Butter Mussel Pasta

  1. Definitely a great comforting dish this garlic butter mussel pasta Ben! I’ll happily eat this at any time of the year. It doesn’t have to be Easter. In fact it really doesn’t feel like Easter at all with everything thats going on at the moment. But Happy Easter anyway!
    Neil recently posted…Leftover Chicken Stir-FryMy Profile

  2. I’m all about the white wine and mussels, Ben! First, as you pointed out, the flavor. But second, that means I get to have a glass of wine while dinner is getting made! And as far as the pasta? Laura is half-Italian which means that every holiday meal uses pasta in some way! This recipe sounds fancy enough for a restaurant but easy enough to make at home!
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Cheesy Ham BiscuitsMy Profile

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