I had a LOT of mussels left over from the paella (serves me right for getting 1kg bulk lots of anything) and I didn't want them to die on me so I decided to whip up another simple mussel dish.
This 'idea' is not original, obviously. Mussels with cream, wine and chili is a polygamous marriage made in heaven. I was, however, inspired by the little leaflet I got with the mussels. They suggested steaming the mussels with white wine and serving them with the residual stock + some crusty bread. I decided to do essentially the same thing but with bread instead of past.
This dish is simple but very elegant. I've been treating myself very well these days (hey, it's leading up to exam period. I'm allowed).
Mussels and Linguine with Creamy White Wine Sauce
- 2 shallots, white only , split lengthwise along the stems
- 1 clove of garlic, flattened with a knife
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- a few parsley stems
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- around 10 fresh mussels, cleaned
- 1/3 cup of cream
- 1/2 - 1 tbsp lemon juice
- more chili flakes
- 1 serving of linguine (cooked simultaneously and ready to serve by the time the sauce is done; follow the packet instructions and time yourself well)
- cracked pepper to serve
1. In a large wok, dry fry the shallots, chili, fennel, garlic and parsley stems for a bit to release the aroma.
2. Add in the wine and bring to the boil.
3. Pour in the mussels and pop the lid on. Check periodically and start fishing the mussels out as they cook (they open up when they cook). By the end of 7min, discard any that haven't opened. Remove the mussel meat from the mussels but keep some in one shell for decoration.4. Strain the residual stock into a bowl. Taste to make sure it's not too salty (saltiness comes from the liquid that the mussels release). If it is, you might need to add a bit of water.
5. Return the stock to the wok and reheat. Stir in the cream and reduce the liquid. I very much doubt you'll need salt. When the sauce is reasonably thick, add the lemon juice and more chili flakes to your taste.
6. Arrange the linguine and layer the mussels over the top.
7. To serve, spoon on the creamy white wine sauce and add cracked pepper.
This dish was so easy to pull together. Mussels do not take a alot of genius to cook. The combination of flavors is winning. My sauce was still a bit salty in the end but when I added it to the pasta, it was just right. Next time, I would refine the sauce to make it creamier and also, add more chili and lemon.