Cook Like an Italian: Mussels in White Wine Recipe
This Thursday is New Year’s Day, and it’s one of our favorite holidays because it’s celebrated by all kinds of people all over the world. Whether you’re in New York or Milan, religious or not, a new year is cause for festivity.
New Year’s Day is also an excuse for a good meal surrounded by family and friends. Seafood is always a popular choice for New Year’s, as it’s thought to bring good luck, so we’re sharing our favorite mussels and pasta recipe with you this week in preparation for the holiday.
The best part? Wine is both in the recipe and paired with it! While many supermarkets sell “Cooking Wine” or “Cooking Sherry” specifically for use in prepared dishes, we advise home chefs to steer clear of these products. They are usually cheap wines that merely have added salt and preservatives. It’s always best to cook with a quality wine that will add a more robust depth of flavor to your meals. A good rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t drink it alone, don’t put it in your food.
Make sure you choose the freshest possible mussels for this recipe. It may seem obvious, but do a simple smell test before you buy. Do the mussels smell like the ocean? If so, you’re good to go.
Enjoy the recipe, and Happy New Year from Mazzoni Wines!
Mussels and Pasta in White Wine Sauce
Yields 4 servings
Pair with Mazzoni Vermentino Chardonnay
2 lbs mussels
1/3 cup flour
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 cup chopped shallots
3/4 cup pureed tomato sauce (canned)
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1 cup Mazzoni Vermentino Chardonnay
1 lb spaghetti or linguini
salt and pepper to taste
1. Submerge all mussels in a bowl of water with the flour. Let the mussels soak for 30 minutes to dislodge any sand. Then remove the “beards” with your hands, and scrub with a vegetable scrubber and rinse if dirty.
2. Heat olive oil in a large pot, and saute shallots. After 2 minutes, add the garlic cloves and saute until the shallots are translucent.
3. Add the tomato sauce, parsley, wine, salt and pepper and bring the mixture to a boil.
4. Add the mussels to the mixture and cook covered over medium heat for 8 – 1o minutes until all the mussels are open. If there are any left unopened, discard them.
5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 5 – 8 minutes or until al dente and drain. Save some of the water and set aside.
6. Transfer the drained pasta into the mussels pot and stir gently to coat. If the mixture is thick, add some of the drained pasta water.
7. Plate the pasta with mussels on top, and serve. Italians are strongly against using cheese with seafood, so we serve this dish as is. However, if desired, grate parmigiano reggiano on top of the pasta. Buon appetito!