mussels with white wine, lemon + pasta

styling by Catrine Kelty | photo by Keller + Keller

Mussels steamed in a buttery white wine and lemon sauce add delicate flavor to a hearty bowl of pasta, with an extra kick from red pepper flakes.

1 1/2 pounds mussels
1 pound pasta (linguine or spaghetti)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, minced
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups white wine
Fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped, for garnish, optional
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish, optional

  1. Place mussels in a bowl and bring to room temperature for 1/2 hour.
  2. Remove beards of each mussel (weedy growth attached to hinge of shell) and rinse mussels well under cold water. Discard any opened ones. Set aside.
  3. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, 7-10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute. Add lemon zest and juice and white wine and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add mussels and give mixture a stir. Cover and cook until mussels open, 5-10 minutes. Hold down lid with a kitchen towel and shake pot a couple of times to prevent mussels from sticking to bottom of pan.
  6. Add drained pasta to mussels and gently toss to combine, coating pasta with liquid. Transfer to a large serving platter. Remove and discard any unopened mussels. Top with parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano (if using) and serve.

Serves 6-8.