Because Jen promised you I’d give y’all the mussels recipe.
You will need:
- mussels – roughly the 1-2 pound mark, depending on how many you’ll be feeding and that sort of thing
- extra virgin olive oil
- 3-ish cloves garlic, finely minced
- either a teaspoon or so of dried thyme or a tablespoon plus of fresh
- 2 T tomato paste*
- red pepper flakes
- solid splash of white wine (say 3/4-1 cup)
- handful of finely chopped parsley
Soak the mussels in coldish water for about half an hour so that they disgorge any sand. Scrub the shells so that they’re nice and clean, and cut off any exposed beard (the funky looking non-shell stuff that may be sticking out of the side).
Put a deep pot on medium heat. Throw a couple of loops around the pan’s worth of olive oil in there, and then throw the garlic in. Let the garlic begin to soften and get all fragrancehappy. Then toss in the tomato paste and stir it around, letting it start to dissolve into the olive oil/garlic mixture. When that’s gotten nice and fragrant – say roughly a minute or so – toss in the red pepper flakes (this is a to-taste type thing – I like it hot, and I’m something of a babymouth). Let those go for another minute, and then pour in the wine.
Once the wine has been added, throw in the mussels and slam a lid on everything. The mussels will be done when they’re open. Once they’ve opened, pour them (and the broth) into a large bowl. Toss any that haven’t opened – those are bad. Toss the parsley in on top and serve with lots of bread to dip in the broth.
*I use the tomate paste that comes in a tube. It’s pricier than the can stuff, but it has this glorious bonus: I can close the tube. Like, it has a cap. I can’t close a can when I’m done. Given I use roughly 1-2T of tomato paste per recipe most of the time, and that the tube stays well and good for a couple of years, I end up saving money by getting the tube over using cans. Plus it’s better tomato paste.