This recipe features fresh mussels as the basis. You can either serve the mussels in their juices with fresh bread, or you can use the mussels in their juices as a pasta sauce for spaghetti.

Ingredients

  • About 3 pounds of mussels or 1.5 kg of cozze – Make sure the mussels are fresh and healthy by checking to see if their shells are slightly opened before purchasing.  Keep them very cold until you are ready to cook them
  • 3 TB of virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch of Italian parsley (flat-leaf parsley) – finely minced  
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed into large chunks
  • 1½ cups of white wine, preferably an Italian pinot grigio
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make this recipe

  1. Heat the olive oil on high heat in a large saucepan that has a lid.  When it is hot, add the garlic cloves and allow them to become golden in color.  
  2. Reduce the heat and remove the garlic from the skillet as soon as it becomes golden (do not wait until the garlic gets brown).
  3. Turn up the flame again to make sure the olive oil becomes hot, then add one handful of the minced parsley (reserving the rest until you serve the mussels)
  4. Add all of the mussels to the pan and cover immediately.  Using oven mitts, shake the pan on the flame to mix up the mussels (but don’t open the cover, because you want the mussels to steam).
  5. Wait about 2 minutes for the mussels to open; add the wine and cover again for 1 minute.
  6. Remove the cover and continue to cook on high heat for about 1 minute let evaporate 1 minute
  7. Turn off the the fire and add freshly ground black pepper—a lot of it!—and the remainder of the minced parsley.
  8. Mix and serve immediately as a soup, along with slices of fresh bread you and your guests can use to sop up the delicious broth created by steaming the mussels in wine and oil.
  9. Buon appetito!

Notes

Mussels can be stored in the fridge in a pot covered with a wet cloth for about 1-2 days, but make sure to remove any plastic bag around them so that they can breathe. Clean the mussels—if necessary—using a knife and your thumb to remove the thread.