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Spaghettini with Steamed Mussels

  • 35 m
  • 35 m
Kathleen Desmond Stang
“Mussel lovers will enjoy this simple pasta preparation. Serve with an arugula salad and crusty whole-grain bread to soak up all the juices.”


    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
    • 4 large cloves garlic, very finely chopped
    • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
    • ½ cup dry white wine
    • ½ cup water
    • 2 pounds mussels, rinsed, scrubbed and debearded (see Tip)
    • 12 ounces whole-wheat spaghettini
    • 1 large ripe tomato, seeded and finely chopped
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • 1 Put a large pan of water on to boil for cooking pasta.
  • 2 Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • 3 Add wine, water and mussels. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Check often and use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the mussels to a bowl as they open. (Discard any mussels that do not open.) Reserve the mussel-cooking liquid.
  • 4 Meanwhile, cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain and return to the pot. Add the mussel-cooking liquid—pouring it slowly to leave any sand or grit behind. Stir in tomato, parsley and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • 5 Divide the pasta among individual soup plates and top with the reserved mussels. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
  • Test Kitchen Tip: To clean mussels, use a stiff brush to scrub as you rinse them under running water. Discard any mussels with broken shells or any whose shells remain open after you tap them lightly. Use a blunt knife to scrape off any barnacles and pull off the “beard” as you wash them. Once you have debearded the mussels, cook them in short order because they don't live long afterward.
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