The mussel’s so-called beard (also called the byssus) is made of threads that the mussel manufactures in order to attach itself to rocks and pilings. The beards need to be removed before cooking.
- 8 ounces fettuccine
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 2 dozen mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 12 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the wine and thyme. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the mussels, reduce the heat to medium-high, cover, and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until all the mussels have opened, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Discard any mussels that have not opened.
3. After draining the pasta, add the oil and garlic to the pasta cooking pot. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the spinach, pepper, and salt, and cook, stirring, until the spinach is just wilted, 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Return the drained pasta to the pot with the spinach mixture and toss just until heated through. Remove from the heat.
5. Shell the mussels and add to the pasta. Strain the mussel cooking juices through a fine-mesh strainer into the pasta pot and toss to mix well.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition per serving: 390 calories, 7g total fat (3g saturated), 6g dietary fiber, 23g protein, 550mg sodium.
A good source of: beta carotene, folate, lutein, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin C.
Also see 10 Spectacular Shellfish Recipes.