Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mussels with Pasta a la español

We tried this one last night,  a Spanish take on the Italian pasta with mussels dish. The idea is the same as the Italian version only with Spanish spices.

½ pound spaghetti
1 pound mussels cleaned and debearded
1 large red bell pepper cut into dice
3 large cloves garlic sliced thinly
¼ cup olive oil
generous pinch saffron threads soaked in ½ cup warm water
1 cup dry white wine like chardonnay or pinot grigio
pimenton (Spanish paprika)

Boil 4 qts of water in a large pot adding 1 tablespoon of salt
Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the pepper and saute until soft. Add the garlic and cook until soft. Add the wine and reduce heat allowing the flavors to coalesce. Pour the saffron and its soaking liquid into the skillet and cook a few more minutes adding water or wine to the skillet if it ever begins to dry out.
Meanwhile add the pasta to the pot with the boiling water.
When the pasta is about 6 minutes short of being cooked, bring the skillet up to simmering, add the mussels and cook a couple minutes past when they've all opened. (Discard any that do not open within a few minutes of adding them as they may have been dead to begin with and inedible.)
When the pasta is al dente, drain into a colander then put it into the skillet stirring to combine the sauce with the pasta and let cook for another minute. Sprinkle on the pimenton and serve.

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