Mussels 2 ways – white and red

Mussels 2 ways – white and red

I went to Costco and came across a HUGE pack of fresh, live mussels for $12.99. I have no idea if that is a good deal or not since I have never bought mussels before, but it seemed decent. Now I needed to find a way to cook these weird little mollusks.

mussels

Searching among many recipes, it seemed that most either steam them in a rich red, tomato based sauce or a creamy white sauce. I decided that since the pack I had came in two large clam shells, I would do both a red and a white sauce.

Mussels done two ways – white and red

Garlic White Sauce Mussels with Pasta

The mussels I bought were cleaned already, so all I needed to do is give them a good rinse under cold water. If you happen to pick up mussels that aren’t cleaned, then there is a process. Serious Eats has a really good “how to” on their blog.

After a good rinse, I checked every mussel for cracks or damaged shells and tossed those into the garbage. I then chopped up my sauce base ingredients to have it ready!

mussels

I started the pasta and then started melting the butter in another pot. 

Once the butter was melted, I added in the chopped onion, garlic, celery, rosemary and some salt and pepper and let that saute until everything softened. 

mussels

Next a cup of wine went into pot and I let that heat up. And a cup went into my wine glass. As Julia Child says, “I enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food I’m cooking.” In my personal opinion, when a recipe calls for wine, always buy a bottle you like – that way you can enjoy some while you cook! I used Apothic White – you may have remembered I reviewed the red by Apothic. Apothic White is a blend, like the red, and is made of Chardonnay, Riesling and Moscato. It is fruity, sweet (not too sweet though!) with some hints of vanilla. A great choice for a hot summer day and a great choice for these mussels!

mussels

The mussels went in and I covered the pot and let them steam for 5 minutes. I removed the mussels with a slotted spoon, leaving the broth behind in the pot and the separate bowl of mussels was put aside for later. 

By this time, the pasta is done. I drained it, tossed olive oil in it, and set it aside as well. 

I added cream and the parmesan cheese and flour mixture to the leftover broth and whisked vigorously until the sauce thickened. 

mussels

Once the sauce was done, I placed pasta into two bowls, topped with steamed mussels and then drizzled the white cream sauce all over. I also served steamed broccoli with it! 

mussels

Creamy Garlic White Mussels
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Ingredients
  1. 1 package of live, fresh mussels
  2. 1 package of pasta (I used fettuccini)
  3. 2 tbsp olive oil
  4. 4 tbsp butter
  5. 3 clove garlic, minced
  6. 1/2 white onion, chopped
  7. 3 stalks celery, chopped
  8. 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
  9. Salt
  10. Pepper
  11. 1 cup white wine
  12. 1/4 cup cream
  13. 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese plus 1 tbsp flour mixed together
Instructions
  1. Start pasta, following directions on the box. Once done, toss with olive oil and set aside, covered to keep warm.
  2. In a dutch oven or large pot, melt butter. Add onion, garlic, celery, rosemary, salt and pepper and saute until soft, for about 5 minutes,
  3. Add wine and let heat for about 1-2 minutes. Add the mussels to the hot wine, cover and steam for 5 minutes, until the mussels open up. Transfer mussels from pot to a separate bowl, with a slotted spoon, tossing any that didn't open into the garbage. Set bowl of mussels aside, keeping warm.
  4. Add cream and Parmesan cheese/flour mix to the remaining wine broth in the pot and whisk vigorously over medium heat until sauce thickens.
  5. Set up bowls with cooked pasta, steamed mussels and pour sauce generously over pasta and mussels.
  6. Serve with steamed broccoli!
Chews and Brews http://www.chewsandbrews.ca/
Spicy Red Tomato Mussels

Okay, now onto the red mussels! 

Again, after a good rinse, I checked every mussel for cracks or damaged shells and tossed those into the garbage.

I gathered my ingredients and got to work on my red sauce. 

mussels

In a saucepan I added 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Once the oil was hot I added chopped onion, crushed garlic, dried basil and oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, two bay leaves and a generous pinch of salt. This cooked over medium heat for about 5 minutes. I then added the wine, tomato paste and 1 tsp of white sugar and let that simmer for a few minutes. 

mussels

I then added the canned tomatoes and carrots and simmered over medium heat for 30 minutes. I kept stirring it and as it was simmering I broke up the tomatoes with my wooden spoon. (You can use tomato puree or diced tomatoes instead, but I have it in my mind that the canned whole tomatoes hold more flavour…no idea if that is true or not.)

mussels

When the sauce was done simmering, I put it on low heat and started the mussels. In a dutch oven (or large pot), I added olive oil and once hot, added chopped onion, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and sauteed for a couple minutes. I added the wine and boiled until reduced by half. Next, half of the tomato sauce went into the pot and I brought the mixture to a simmer. Next in went the mussels! I covered and cooked until the mussels opened, about 5 minutes. I inspected the mussels and threw out any that didn’t open, seasoned with a pinch of salt and served with more tomato sauce. A side of sliced crusty french bread worked perfect to soak up any extra sauce!

mussels

Spicy Red Mussels
Print
Sauce
  1. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  2. 1/2 white onion, chopped
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 tsp dried basil
  5. 1 tsp dried oregano
  6. 2 bay leaf
  7. Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  8. Salt
  9. Pepper
  10. 1/2 cup white wine
  11. 1 tbsp tomato paste
  12. 1 tsp sugar
  13. One 28-ounce can of Italian whole tomatoes
  14. 2 large carrots, peels and chopped
Mussels
  1. 2 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1/2 white onion, chopped
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  5. 1 cup white wine
  6. 1 clam shell of live mussels, scrubbed, cleaned and debearded
  7. Bread, for serving
Instructions
  1. Rinse mussels under cold water and inspect them for cracks or damaged shells and throw those out.
  2. In a saucepan add olive oil and heat on medium heat. Once the oil is hot add chopped onion, crushed garlic, dried basil and oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, two bay leaves and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the wine, tomato paste and white sugar and let that simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Add the canned tomatoes and carrots and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally while breaking the tomatoes up with a spoon. Once the sauce is done simmering, put it on low heat and start the mussels.
  5. In a dutch oven add olive oil and once hot, add chopped onion, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and sauté for a couple minutes.
  6. Add the wine and boil until it reduces by half. Next, add half of the tomato sauce and bring mixture to a simmer. Add in the mussels, cover and cook until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Inspect the mussels and toss out any that didn't open.
  7. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and serve with more tomato sauce and a side of sliced crusty french bread to soak up any extra sauce!
Chews and Brews http://www.chewsandbrews.ca/
 Do you like mussels? What’s your favourite seafood dish!?

11 thoughts on “Mussels 2 ways – white and red

  1. I love mussels and don’t make them often enough at home. I also love Costco and find that the store’s seafood and shellfish are quite good. Thanks for a wonderful post.

    1. Thank you! I know! And if I had to choose, I don’t think I could! Both were so good in different ways!

  2. He loves mussels – we used to eat them all the time in a restaurant we went to with his parents, but we haven’t been there since they moved.

    You remind me that I can get mussels – and now I have recipes for them! I should make some for him… They do look good.

  3. Yum, these sound so good! I ate sooo many mussels when we were travelling in Europe, i love them. My husband isn’t a fan though, so I never cook them (as I can’t eat a whole batch myself 🙂 ). My mum will love this though!

    1. Thanks! Yeah I couldn’t eat a whole batch myself either- nice that you can share a batch with your mum! 🙂

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