Freshly cooked mussels, rich and creamy (but not too heavy) sauce, and aromatic herbs combined in this delicious Creamy Mussel Basil Pasta.
Hello, my friends. Happy Monday. If you are that person who does not feel Mondays can ever be good enough (Except for those which fall on an extended weekend or vacation), I hope you can find something good about it. I certainly hope this Creamy Mussel Basil Pasta helps you feel better.
In my last post, I promised to post a recipe for shellfish pasta, and here we go. Also, I just noticed that in that post I wrote down “selfish” instead of “shellfish”. Isn’t it hilarious? I don’t think that was just a regular misprint. There might be some sense. What did I mean by this?
Did I mean an egoistic representative of the fish family that, for instance, doesn’t like sharing food? Or, perhaps, its fish which cannot live without taking selfies and posting them on their Instagram accounts every day? Self-employed fish? Is it a mythical kind of the aquatic inhabitants like a unicorn? Finally, did I discover invent a new form of species, and will I get a Nobel prize for this?
Which of these versions sound more plausible to you? Or maybe you can come up with a better one! Please join me in this game :)
Also, I was going to share my story of cooking fresh mussels first time ever (We won’t count frozen and canned ones, will we? This is not the same). Honestly, having read some articles, I was a bit concerned about this, but surprisingly I did well. Anyways, I’ll leave this story (and tips on cleaning and preparing mussels) for another post. After all, living in the Atlantic region means having some fresh mussels once in a while.
For now, let’s simply enjoy this Creamy Mussel Basil Pasta. I hope you do like seafood pasta.
First of all, start with sorting and discarding mussels which 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.
Once sorted out the good mussels, if they 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.
Next, scrub the mussels under cold running water and remove the breads (kind of threads or fibers which are easy to remove by grasping and pulling). Drain the clean mussels.
Now the mussels are ready to cook. You might choose the different way of cooking (cooking onions and garlic first then adding the mussels to the pan. I opted for this way as I wanted to remove most of hard shells after all, and I didn't want they would be covered in sauce).
So add about 1 cup of water (The water should just lightly cover the bottom (like 0,5 thick) of the pan. We don't cook the mussels in water - we basically steam it).
Add the mussels, cover, and cook over medium heat for 4-6 minutes or until they are open. The mussels which don't open, should be discarded as well.
Remove the mussels and reserve the liquid. Remove most of the hard shells reserving some for decoration.
In the same pan combine the butter and oil. Cook the onion and garlic 5-7 minutes until soft and fragrant.
Add the cream and about 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the basil and parsley.
In the meanwhile, cook the pasta until del dente. I also used some of the reserved water (about 1/2 cup) to infuse the dish even more.
Add the cooked pasta into the pan, stir, and let stay 2-3 minutes to develop the flavors.