Growing up by Moriches bay, I really enjoyed a lot of things that I found there. The bay itself had a rather large shallow side where you could wade out from shore a good distance and still be in chest high water. Out there not too far from shore it was easy to wade out and find mussels. The black shinny mollusks just hanging around in the seaweed were waiting to be harvested… they were asking for it.
A spicy mussels marinara:
- About three pounds of mussels scrubbed debearded rinsed and drained
- 2 cans of chopped plum tomatoes
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium onion
- 1 or 2 two small links of spicy Italian sausage
- 1 cup white wine
- Olive oil
I start by dicing the onion, chopping the garlic, and removing the casing from the sausage. I then brown the sausage in olive oil with the onion and garlic. Once this is browned I deglaze with the wine, bringing up all the fond and making the kitchen smell wonderful. Continue cooking this until the liquid reduces by half.
At this point, I like chopping up plum tomatoes straight from Dad’s garden if he has any. But, canned chopped tomatoes work just fine here, so toss them in, add oregano and salt ‘to taste’ and reduce the heat to medium. Let this cook a little to reduce the liquid before adding the mussels . Don’t be too concerned, this mixture should be thick; the mussels will provide the main liquid for the final sauce.
Toss those cleaned mussels into the pan and cover. Let this cook for about ten minutes. Now, get a wide, shallow serving bowl of linguini, I did mention the linguini didn’t I, and transfer the mussels onto the bed of al dente linguini. Do not transfer mussels that are unopened. Toss the unopened one out… do not eat those… they are the evil ones.
So, you should have a nice serving bowl of steaming mussels covering a bed of pasta and a great sauce in the pan. I nestle the mussels into the pasta and I like pouring that sauce all over the pasta, but I’ve seen some people serving the sauce separately… those people aren’t from around these parts….