For those of you who have followed "My Recipe Box", I think you know that I like variety in my meals.
My choice of recipes comes from a variety of sources and many times is dependent on what is on sale at the market.
So, I just saw an ad at Central Market in Dallas... 2 pounds of mussels for $6.99.
Now for those of you who live near the sea, this is probably a ridiculous amount to pay, especially if you are fortunate enough to gather your own.
But you must realize... I live in Texas. Most of our fish is previously frozen.
I trust the fish from Central Market and this is why:
"Our cases display more than 100 varieties of saltwater and freshwater fish and shellfish.
With shipments flown in from Hawaii, Ecuador and beyond, six days a week, Central Market carries only the finest seafood available."
So I bought my bag of mussels that had just recently been gathered from Canada, (packed on ice with the bag open so they could breathe), and headed home to fix dinner.
This is an adaptation of a recipe by Mario Batali.
1 lb. SPAGHETTI
2 Tbsp. EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1/2 ONION, thinly sliced into rings
3 cloves GARLIC, thinly sliced
1 tsp. dried RED PEPPER FLAKES
4 ANCHOVY FILLETS, washed and dried
2 Tbsp. SALTED CAPERS
1 bunch ITALIAN PARSLEY LEAVES, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup
2 pounds BLACK MUSSELS, scrubbed and de-bearded
1 c. DRY WHITE WINE
1 RED PEPPER, cut in thin slices and lightly sauteéd in a drizzle of olive oil
In a large stockpot, bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil.
Add the spaghetti and stir so they don't stick and cook according to package directions.
In a large stockpot, heat the extra-virgin olive oil and lightly sauté the onion.
When the onion slices are translucent, add the sliced garlic and chile flakes.
Sauté until fragrant.
Add the anchovies, and using a wooden spoon, smash them into the oil.
Add the salted capers, parsley, mussels and white wine, and cover quickly, so the steam cooks the mussels.
Shake the pot after 1 minute, and again after 2 more minutes.
Check the mussels. If they are open and plump, they are cooked.
Drain the pasta in a colander and divide between 4 warmed pasta bowls.
Divide the mussels between the 4 bowls of pasta and pour the wine sauce over, leaving any sandy sediment in the pot.
Garnish with sautéed red pepper strips.
I like to serve grilled bread with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper to dip in the wine sauce.