Mussels in Spicy Red Arrabbiata Sauce

Mussels in Spicy Red Arrabbiata Sauce

I can’t think of any cuisine better suited for Summer than fresh seafood. Sure, seafood is great in the dead of winter, but there is something so refreshing about sitting outside with a crisp beer and the catch of the day. Maybe it’s a personal association—but I just think seafood tastes better in the Summer. I guess living in New England near the coast doesn’t hurt either…

If I had to guess, mussels served in a spicy red sauce is probably one of the least popular ways to prepare mussels. Ironically, it’s the first way I started making mussels 3 or 4 years ago. Today, I think most restaurants are serving mussels in a creamy ale or wine sauce—which is a little lighter. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve seen a simple spicy arrabbiata sauce on a menu.

For those of you who don’t know, arrabbiata sauce is essentially a spicy tomato or red “pasta” sauce. You simply simmer the mussels in a lidded saucepan with arrabbiata sauce, as you would with water or any wine based sauce. The mussels soak up the flavors and become fully coated in a thick red sauce.

Now to “spice up” (no pun intended), maybe the world’s most basic recipe, I like to add minced garlic, chopped parsley, and cream. It gives the arrabbiata sauce a creamier texture and makes the dish a little more dynamic.

You can eat mussels arrabbiata as a main entrée or appetizer or serve it over linguine for a spicy seafood pasta dish. Both delicious, both super easy. I can’t think of a better way to prepare mussels in a red sauce.

Mussels in Spicy Red Arrabbiata Sauce

Mussels in Spicy Red Arrabbiata Sauce

Mussels in Spicy Red Arrabbiata Sauce

Mussels in Spicy Red Arrabbiata Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
  • 2 pounds mussels
  • 1 16 ounce jar arrabbiata sauce
  • ¼ cup cream or half and half
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  1. Rinse mussels under cool water. Discard any that do not fully close when rinsing or resting for 30 seconds (these are dead). Remove any beards if protruding from the shell.
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients in a covered saucepan, bring to a simmer (medium-high heat) and add the mussels. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the mussels have opened ¼ to ½ an inch.
  3. Serve as an entree or over pasta if desired.

 

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