Fettuccine with Mussels & Spinach
The small black tuft that protrudes between the shell halves of a mussel is called the beard that needs to be removed before the mussels are cooked. As you scrub the shellfish, pull the beards out with your fingers, then rinse the mussels well.
  • 8 ounces fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 dozen mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 12 cups (loosely packed) stemmed spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine wine and thyme. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the mussels, reduce heat to medium-high, cover and cook, tossing and stirring frequently, until mussels have opened, four to six minutes. Remove pan from heat. (Discard any mussels that do not open.)

3. After draining pasta, add oil and garlic to pasta cooking pot. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until garlic is golden, one to two minutes. Add spinach, pepper and salt, and cook, stirring, until spinach is just wilted, three to four minutes.

4. Add drained pasta to spinach mixture and toss just until heated through. Remove from heat.

5. Reserving four mussels in their shells for garnish, shell mussels and add to pasta.

6. Line a small fine-mesh sieve with a piece of cheesecloth and set over a small bowl or measuring cup. Pour mussel cooking juices through strainer; then add strained juices to pasta and toss to mix well.

7. To serve, divide pasta mixture among four pasta bowls and top with a mussel in the shell.

Nutritional Information
Per serving: 385 calories, 7.1g total fat, 1.1g saturated fat, 3.3g monounsaturated fat, 1.5g polyunsaturated fat, 5.8g dietary fiber, 13g protein, 53g carbohydrate, 27mg cholesterol, 550mg sodium.
Good source of: beta-carotene, folate, iron, lutein & zeaxanthin, magnesium, manganese, potassium, quercetin, selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin C.

Date Published: 09/19/2005 > Printer-friendly Version

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