"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Sunday, February 9, 2020

RECIPES–Pasta With Mussels In Cream With Saffron And Thyme

I have always like mussels and bought them from the Maine Avenue floating fish market in Washington, DC when I first came to the city.  They were large, bearded, and hard to clean.   Also in the days before mussel farming, they could come from anywhere, and since they are like barnacles which attach to piers, pillars, and underwater tires, they were often deadly. 

My father always said that they were the Italian (American) oyster because they were so cheap and plentiful.  Now, however, they are farmed in Maine, clean, no beards, and safe.  They are delicious steamed in white wine with tomatoes, garlic, and onions; or Asian style with soy sauce and ginger.

I thought I would try something different, and saw a post about mussels in cream with oregano.  I thought this spice might be too much, so I substituted thyme and saffron, and the result was excellent.  A truly tasty, marvelous dish.  Simple to make.

Image result for images pasta with musssels and cream

Pasta with Mussels in Cream with Saffron and Thyme
* 1 bag mussels
* 1-2 tsp dried thyme
* 1 tsp (approx.) saffron
* 1/4 cup heavy cream (liberal portion)
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 Tbsp. unsalted European style butter
* 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
* 3 med cloves garlic, chopped
* 1/4 lb penne rigati (or any other pasta)
- Wash the mussels carefully
- Place in large pot with about 1-2” water
- Steam until open (about 5 min)
- Remove the mussels from shells and reserve
- Saute the garlic in the butter/olive oil
- Add the cream, saffron, and thyme and stir well
- Let simmer over very low heat for about 10 min, stirring often
- Add salt to taste
- Add the mussels, stir, add milk if too thick
- Serve over penne

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