Sunday 18 March 2012

Mussels alla Diavola

My husband and I were grocery shopping Saturday afternoon and were thrilled to discover live mussels, caught that morning, on sale, so we grabbed a pound. I wanted to prepare them that evening, while they were still fresh, so this is how we enjoyed them. They were FABULOUS - I definitely will be making this again.

4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/6 cup olive oil
1/3 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in purée
3/4 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/3 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
1 tablespoon drained bottled capers
1/6 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives (1 oz), pitted and chopped
3 tablespoons dry red wine
1/3 lb dried linguine
1 lb mussels (preferably cultivated), cleaned

Thoroughly clean the mussels by scrubbing with brush under cold water until no barnacles or beards remain. Cook garlic and red pepper flakes in oil in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with purée, tomato paste, herbs, capers, olives, and wine and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes, until sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Cook linguine in a 6 to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain in a colander. While pasta cooks, increase heat under sauce to moderately high and add mussels, then cook, covered, until mussels just open wide, checking frequently after 3 minutes and transferring to a bowl. (Toss any mussels that remain unopened after 6 minutes.) Serve linguine with mussels and sauce. Makes 2 large servings.

*This recipe is adapted from one which appeared in Gourmet Magazine in July 2003.

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