No one knows mussels like the Farmers and Fishers of Prince Edward Island. This satisfying pasta dish uses a tomato-basil sauce to highlight one of the province’s favourite foods.
Tagliatelle With Mussels and Tomato Sauce
Pasta with steamed mussels, and tomato basil sauce.
- ¼ cup white wine
- 2 lbs mussels rinsed and debearded
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 can (786ml) whole tomatoes
- 5 sprigs fresh basil divided
- dried red chili flakes
- ¾ lb tagliatelle
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- In a large pot with a lid, bring wine and ¼ cup of water to a boil. Once boiling, add mussels. Cover and cook mussels for 5 to 6 minutes, shaking the pot to stir the mussels a few times. Once most of the mussels have opened, transfer mussels to a bowl to cool. Strain cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside.
- In the same pot used to cook the mussels, melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat, then add onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 12 to 14 minutes until onions begin to soften, stirring often. Deglaze the pan with 1⁄2 cup reserved mussel liquid. Add whole tomatoes to the pot (breaking up the tomatoes with your hands as you add them), 2 sprigs of basil and a pinch of dried chili flakes. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until onions are completely soft and the sauce has thickened.
- Once the mussels have cooled, discard any unopened mussels. Remove meat from half the shells, discard empty shells and keep remaining mussels intact. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, add pasta to boiling water, cooking until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, add to the pot with tomato sauce and stir in reserved mussels and shells. Toss together then season with salt and pepper. Add reserved mussel liquid if needed.
- Serve in large pasta bowls. Tear fresh basil leaves over top and sprinkle with dried chili flakes if desired.