I have been craving some steamed mussels for a while now. Pre-kids, my husband and I used to love dining al fresco at our favorite restaurant VIVACE, and they served the best bowl of steamed mussels. My favorite part was dipping the crusty bread which soaked up the broth like a sponge. Deeelicious! Inspired by those mouth watering memories, I set out to recreate that experience at home, in my own Levantine style.
I like to eat mussels in the winter time only, as the summer heat may affect their quality during shipping. I got a couple of pounds fresh from the market a couple of days ago. They were beautiful, no mustache nor sand..very nice. It was minimal work. I rinsed them well under filtered water, covered them with ice and began preparation on the broth and pasta.
To cook the pasta, follow direction on box of preferred Angel Hair. I enjoy the flavor of whole wheat and Jerusalem artichoke pasta.
For the broth. Add olive oil to a large pot, saute minced garlic for about a minute, add diced tomatoes, salt and pepper. Saute until tomatoes soften a bit, about 3 minutes. Add wine, let simmer gently for 5 minutes, then add all other ingredients leaving the fresh mint as the final step. Let the broth simmer again for another 2 minutes, then add all mussels and cover pot for 5 minutes or until all mussels have opened. Take off heat. Pour gently over the prepared warm pasta in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle mint.
Levant Steamed Mussels
2 lbs fresh mussels, cleaned and chilled
For the broth:
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup white wine
3 large tomatoes, diced medium
7-8 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup artichoke hearts, quartered
2 tbsp capers
1 lemon, juiced
Zest of one lemon
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
2 tbsp fresh mint
1 tsp freshly ground pepper (adjust to taste)
2 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste once all ingredients are in)