Cozze Marinara – Linguine Mussel Marinara
May 1 is Labor Day for most of the world. Labor Day has meant a few days in the Umbrian hills, cooking lasagna in an outdoor wood burning oven, crostini on a fire pit and Linguine with a Mussel Marinara Sauce. Most Italian regions will have their own version of this dish. Some will even have a hint of fresh tomato or cherry tomato but none of them have anything to do with the “Marinara” found US. Marinara means from the sea, not usually a great place to grow tomatoes.
The perfect wines for this dish include Greco di Tufo, Falangina, Vernaccia, Verdicchio or Vermentino.
3 lbs. (1.5 kg) Mussels
4 cloves Garlic
1 medium onion
2 Bay leaves
5 tbs. Olive Oil
1 cup dry White Wine
1 tbs. chopped fresh Italian Parsley
¼ lbs. (110 g) Linguine per person
Salt & Pepper
A pinch crushed peperoncino.
Scrub the Mussels under running cold water. Set aside. Mince the onion.
Place 2 tbs. Olive Oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, Bay leaves, Mussels and two cloves of Garlic. Shake the skillet often while stirring with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking until the Mussels have opened. Turn the fire off and allow the Mussels to cool. Remove the empty shells and the shells that did not open. Place the opened Mussels on a plate and set aside.
Strain the liquid though cheesecloth or fine filter. Set aside. This will allow any residual sediment (sand) to sink to the bottom of the container.
Cut the remaining Garlic in half. Sauté the garlic with the remaining Olive Oil over medium heat. Add the white wine and reduce about ¾. Add the liquid from the Mussels, taste, and adjust salt and pepper. Add the peperoncino and parsley. Keep the sauce warm on low heat.
Boil the pasta in abundant, salted, rapidly boiling water for the appropriate time. This is usually between 9-11 minutes. Strain the pasta and add directly to the sauce in the skillet. If necessary add one or two tablespoons of the pasta water to arrive at the consistency desired. Serve hot.
Tags: Italian Recipes Pasta Mussels Seafood Gourmet Foods Travel Italy