QUICK, someone get me a beer! With spring right around the corner, I’m jumping full on into summer mode. I’ve been waiting to post this recipe for a long time. Partly because it has evolved so much since I started making it and because it is a great summer entrée.
Mussels over linguine with garlic butter sauce is a combination of my usual mussels recipe, which is essentially steamed mussels in white wine, garlic, butter, fresh herbs, and cream, plus a simple pasta sauce made with fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese (essentially pesto ingredients, minus the pine nuts).
Combining the two ideas finally perfected this dish. I used to make something very similar, but without the cream and parmesan cheese, the sauce is too thin and doesn’t have a lot of flavor. The key is whipping cream. It gives the sauce a bit more consistency and something for the flavors to cling to.
Enough about ingredients. If you’ve never made mussels before they are incredibly easy to make (and awesome on their own I might add). You can steam in a covered sauce pan with white wine, BEER, or water for about 5 minutes and they are done. That’s it. I like to keep things as simple as possible so for this recipe everything is cooked in the same sauce pan minus the linguine.
Bring the linguine to a boil, and while it’s cooking, add all ingredients (except for the cream and parmesan cheese) to a covered sauce pan and simmer for about 5 minutes. When the pasta is done I strain and stir it into the mussels and white wine sauce along with cream and parmesan cheese. Simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes and serve immediately.
That’s really all there is too it. A gourmet looking meal without the gourmet cooking effort (I’ve been fooling Patty to this day).
- 2 pounds mussels, rinsed
- 1 pound whole wheat linguine
- ¾ cup white wine
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¾ cup whipping cream
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Rinse the mussels and remove beards if necessary, discard any that do not fully close when rinsing (these are dead).
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a pinch of salt, and cook linguine until al dente.
- Meanwhile, with linguine still boiling, combine all remaining ingredients (except for the cream and parmesan cheese) in a large covered sauce pan on medium-high heat.
- Cover and simmer mussels in the white wine sauce until fully cooked and shells open up, about 5 minutes. Stir sauce and mussels to coat in sauce.
- When linguine is finished, strain and stir into the mussels and white wine sauce. Now add cream and parmesan cheese. Simmer for 5-7 minutes while covered, stirring occasionally until the sauce slightly thickens.
- Serve topped with a pinch of fresh basil, parmesan cheese, and 6-7 mussels.