So my next Jamie Oliver recipe, I wanted a seafood dish. I narrowed it down to 2 dishes, one was a tomato-y pasta with canned tuna and the second was a spaghetti with mussels dish. Both Steph and Mo voted for the mussels dish, so mussels it is.
Why are mussels so cheap? They’re usually $2-$3 per pound and I bought 2.5lbs of it. Though I should’ve bought the extra half pound because there were few dead ones in the pile.
This whole dish took about 25mins to prep and to cook. While it was fairly easy and straightforward to cook I wasn’t too sure of the end product. It’s hard to know if I cooked it right or not if I haven’t tasted it before. I guess it only matters if the dish was good or not. Well I thought the dish was just alright, it was kind of bland and I was heavy handed with the pepper, whoops. I just didn’t taste any basil or any flavors from the basil oil broth. Overall this was okay.
“Real quick mussels spaghetti in a white wine and basil oil broth”
2 large bunches of fresh basil
4 good quality anchovy fillets in oil, drained
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 2 lemons
Extra virgin olive oil
1lb 2oz good quality dried spaghetti
3.5 lb mussels, cleaned and debearded
A large wineglass of white wine
2-3 fresh rede chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
First, pick all the leaves off your bunches of basil and put the small inner leaves into a cup of cold water. Put the rest of the leaves into a pestle and mortar with the anchovy fillets and a good pinch of salt, and pound into a green paste. Add the juice of 1 lemon and about 8 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. You will end up with a lovely intense basil-flavored oil.
Pick through your mussels, and if you find any that are open, put them on a hard work surface and tap them sharply. If they don’t close up immediately, chuck them away. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions in a large pan of salted boiling water. When cooked al dente, drain the pasta in a colander.
While your spaghetti is cooking, head a large saucepan. When it’s screaming hot, throw in your mussels and white win and cover with a lid. Give a good shake and cook for a couple of minutes until all the mussels have opened (discard any that remain closed). You will have some lovely mussel juices in the pan. Toss in your cooked spaghetti, along with the basil oil. Stir around, adding extra lemon juice and seasoning to taste, then serve immediately, pouring over all the lovely green juices. Sprinkle over the chopped chilli and the drained small basil leaves.