Monday, September 14, 2009

Magical Mussel Elixir

This post may be too little too late, but that's only if when you originally read about my steamed mussels, you rushed right out to make them. Since the majority (all!) of you probably did not make them in the last few days, you can safely file this post away for when you actually do make the mussels. The point is to not let the broth go to waste!

I think the mussel broth is the magical elixir that exists as the sole reason to eat an entire loaf of bread while sopping up its deliciousness. And, if like me you still have some broth left after your bread inhalation, save it! I knew it would eventually come in handy after I made those mussels. A day later when I was rummaging through my cupboards for something to eat, I came up with it's perfect use in a pasta dish. And I didn't have to purchase anything in addition to what I already had, though it might have been nice if I had checked my fridge before starting. Some heavy cream would have been a nice touch (but think of those calories I saved!).

Even though I didn't actually try making this pasta with the heavy cream, I am positive that it would be delish. So just throw caution to the wind and add some heavy cream! And don't worry about the Italian cheese-on-seafood-pasta police. I'm pretty sure that since there is no actual seafood protein in this particular pasta, they'll give you a free pass. At least that's my policy...

Pasta With Mussel Infused Tomato Sauce

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 cup mussel broth, including onions (left from steamed mussel recipe)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces capellini
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and drain the extra bacon fat from the skillet, leaving behind just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

2. Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and cook for one minute more. Add the mussel broth and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, until the sauce has reduced slightly. Stir in the heavy cream, if using, and cook for one minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the capellini until al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the pan of sauce and toss thoroughly over low heat for about 1 minute, until some of the sauce has been absorbed by the pasta. Serve immediately with Parmesan. Makes 4 servings.


Jennifer said...

I'm loving the re-appearance of bacon.

Liseyj said...