Spaghetti alle Cozze for 2!
Yes, I’ve been reading waaay too into Fifty Shades of Grey…towards the close of the novel, the two main characters dine on Spaghetti alle Vongole (pasta with clams), and it inspired my taste buds…but my local commissary doesn’t have a fresh seafood counter with fresh clams, so I opted for frozen, green shelled New Zealand mussels. Success! Not only does this recipe include wine (SCORE! stuff to drink AND cook with), but looks mighty impressive once plated. It’s quite a sexy dish (though perhaps not as masochistic as the originating novel’s theme, lol).
1/2 box whole wheat pasta
1 box frozen, half-shell mussels (1.5 lb)
1 T minced garlic (more or less to taste)
1 t red pepper flakes
1/4 c white wine
3 T olive oil
3 T minced flat leaf parsley or sliced green onions
Salt, pepper, grated cheese to taste
Cook pasta in salted, boiling water 2 min shy of al dente (about 5 min). Meanwhile, heat 2 T oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add garlic, stir and cook until slightly golden. Add red pepper flakes, stir, cook 1 min more. Add wine and mussels, cover, cook about 10 min, stirring occasionally.
Drain pasta, and once the mussels are done, remove them with tongs to a bowl. Add pasta to the pan with the awesome garlicky juices, and toss until liquid is absorbed, about 4 min or so (some sources say to add 1/4 c of reserved starchy pasta liquid, but after having some wine myself I forgot to do so, and thusly I didn’t use it—it still came out awesome, so using it is up to you). Plate pasta (2 plates), top with mussels and sprinkle with the green stuff (parsley or green onions). Sprinkle with some salt, pepper and maybe a little Parmesan, and Voilá! A pasta dish that’ll beat your seafood craving into submission! :)