Spaghetti with Mussels in a Spicy Tomato Sauce

It’s mussel season over here in the Netherlands and I couldn’t resist getting some. I love their taste and the fact that they are cooked in no time. Add some pasta and this becomes a very filling meal. I used anchovies for the sauce and for me, that made it salty enough. So I didn’t add any extra salt, but you can always add salt later if you wish.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 kilos of mussels, scrubbed and beards removed

250grs of spaghetti

Chopped parsley for serving

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 small red onion, finely chopped

20grs of anchovy filets, finely chopped (use the oil too)

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of freshly chopped red chili (you can add more or less, depending on your taste)

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 cup of white wine

500ml of tomato puree

1 cup of vegetable stock

 

Rinse and scrub the mussels under cold water, pulling off any beards. Discard of any mussels that are broken or that don’t clamp shut when tapped.

In a large pan with a lid, place the olive oil plus the anchovy oil over medium-low heat. Once it’s hot, add the red onion, anchovy, oregano and chili. Let it cook for about 4 to 5 minutes till the onion becomes translucent. Don’t forget to stir.

Then add the garlic and stir. Add the white wine and let it reduce to half. Then add the tomato puree and the vegetable stock. Let it reduce until you have a creamy sauce. About 12 minutes.

Then add the mussels, give it a good stir and cover with the lid. Let it cook over medium heat until the mussels open. This will only take a couple of minutes, so keep an eye on them.

One the mussels are cooked, remove them from the sauce and set them aside (discard of any that haven’t opened). Let the sauce reduce again over medium heat.

In the meanwhile cook the pasta as instructed on the package. By the time the pasta is cooked, the sauce should have reduced enough. Add the drained cooked pasta and toss to coat. Taste for salt. I didn’t add any because the anchovy made it salty enough for me.

Serve the pasta with the mussels. Sprinkle some chopped parsley. I also served them with roasted cherry tomatoes. To roast them, just place a few vines of cherry tomatoes in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle some olive oil, salt, onion and garlic powder. Roast for 20 minutes at 180C/350F. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

 

Thai Red Curry Mussels

IMG_0548

It’s mussel season again. I love them so much that I will sometimes make them for just myself. My hubby will eat them but it’s not his favorite thing in the world. So if I crave them often, I will just make them for lunch. They take so little effort to cook that I don’t mind making them for just myself.

I usually make them the classic way with parsley, garlic and tomatoes. But this time, I made them with Thai red curry. Something my hubby is more likely to enjoy since he loves Thai curry, and so do I.  We both devoured them.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

4 kilos of mussels, scrubbed and beards removed

2 tablespoons of minced ginger

1 lemongrass, finely chopped (hard outer part removed)

70grs of Thai red curry paste

400ml of coconut milk

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

½ a bunch of coriander, chopped

2 tablespoons of chopped Thai basil

Extras:

Crusty bread for serving

Lime wedges

Extra Thai basil for decoration (optional)

 

Rinse and scrub the mussels well under cold water, pulling off any beards. Discard any mussels that are broken or that don’t clamp shut when tapped.

Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the lemongrass, ginger and curry paste. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes while stirring. Then add the coconut milk and whisk till it is completely incorporated.

Then add the mussels and cover the pot. Let them steam until they open. This will only take a couple of minutes. Then remove the mussels using tongs. Discard of any mussels that haven’t opened. Let the sauce reduce for a couple of minutes.

Place the mussels on your serving bowls, pour the sauce over them and sprinkle with the chopped coriander and Thai basil. Decorate it with some whole Thai basil leaves if you wish. Serve it with lime wedges and crusty bread. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Mussels, Bubbles & Prawns Night by Chef and the City

FullSizeRender

Chef and the city hosted a Mussels, Bubbles & Prawns night yesterday. It was an evening full of unlimited prawns, mussels and homemade fries. The event took place at Room 66, which used to be a small restaurant. The location matched perfectly with the concept. Small and cozy, where you could just serve yourself and have a casual evening with friends.  We were welcomed with fresh oysters and cocktails. Not a bad way to start a Thursday night, if you ask me.

FullSizeRender (3)

 

FullSizeRender (2)

As the theme was unlimited food, it just kept on coming. The nice smell was impossible to pass, as I couldn’t help myself and had another serving every time a new platter full of freshly made mussels would arrive at the bar.

pic

Chef and the city is an interactive catering company owned by Aleksandra Polski, where if you choose to, you can also learn new culinary skills such as making sushi or decorating cupcakes. She will most likely be hosting similar events like the Mussels, Bubbles & Prawns night. You can check her Facebook page to keep up to date for future events.

Happy Friday guys!

Peruvian Steamed Mussels (Choros a la Chalaca)

choros

Mussel season has just begun here and with the heat of the last couple of days, a cold dish with minimum amount of cooking was very welcome. This is a super easy recipe and a fairly cheap one as well. It is a very popular Peruvian dish. It is often ordered as an appetizer in Seafood restaurants (cevicherias).  It is usually served by the dozen but mussels in Peru are much bigger than the ones you find here.

Ingredients:

2 kilos of mussels

3 medium size red onions, finely chopped

2 large tomatoes (peeled, deseeded and finely chopped)

1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

Kernels of one corn, cooked

1 tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley

Juice of 3 limes

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

 

Rinse the mussels well under cold water, pulling off any beards. Discard any mussels that are broken or that don’t clamp shut when tapped.

Steam the mussels and remove from the pot as soon as they open. Discard the ones that haven’t opened. Break the mussels in half and discard the empty shell. Arrange on a plate and place in the fridge to cool.

Cook the corn for 3 minutes in boiling water. Drain and when it is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cob. Reserve in the fridge.

Chop the onion as small as you can. For me, any salsa tastes better if everything is cut very small because it allows the dressing to really cover all the little pieces. Peel, deseed and chop the tomatoes as small as you can.  Chop the chili.  Refrigerate all until the mussels are cooled and you are ready to serve.

To serve, chop some parsley and put it in a bowl. Add the tomatoes, onions, chili and corn. Squeeze in the juice of all the limes. Add the oil, salt and pepper. Taste and then spoon some salsa on top of each mussel. Serve immediately

 

 

Classic Steamed Mussels

mussels

Mussels bathed in butter, garlic and white wine. Yum! And the fact that dinner can be ready in about 15 minutes makes it an easy recipe for a weekday. This recipe serves 2, half a kilo of mussels per person. When we are really hungry, I just double the recipe for the 2 of us.

Ingredients:

1 kilo of mussels, cleaned

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1 cup of dry white wine

4 tomatoes diced

4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into pieces

½ bunch of fresh parsley, chopped

Juice of one lemon

 

Rinse the mussels well under cold water, pulling off any beards. Discard any mussels that are broken or that don’t clamp shut when tapped.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over low heat. Add the shallots, celery and garlic. Move occasionally and cook until the shallots are translucent.

Increase the heat to medium-high.

Add the mussels, the wine and season with salt. Cover and let it simmer for about 2 minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes, parsley and butter. Give it a stir, cover and let it cook until the mussels have opened wide (about 5 minutes). Add the lemon juice and taste the broth, add salt if needed. Serve with Garlic bread or fries.