Words by Tanya Grimson
February 11th, 2016
What better way to impress your loved one on Valentine’s Day than by showing off your culinary skills in the kitchen? And what better way to show off your other skills than by giving them an aphrodisiac menu to entice the taste-buds and more? This spicy linguine pasta with mussels makes for the perfect flirtatious dinner; don’t forget to shape your lips as you suck in the linguine and let the special qualities of the mussels do the rest. Mark our words, they will be eating out of your hands.
MUSSELS WITH LINGUINE, GARLIC AND FLAT-LEAF PARSLEY
100ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 red chillies, seeds left in and very finely chopped
20g flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp dry white wine
1.Wash the mussels in plenty of changes of cold water. Knock off any barnacles with the back of a knife, then scrub the shells and pull off the beards (if they are obvious). Discard any mussels that don’t close when given a sharp tap or any that are cracked.
2.Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil (use 1 level tablespoon of salt to every 4 litres of water) and cook the linguine for slightly less time than usual, as it will continue cooking with the mussels. Drain the pasta through a colander (reserving some of the pasta water) and mix in a drizzle of olive oil to stop it sticking together. Toss to mix.
3.At the same time as the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a small frying pan. Add the sliced garlic and cook for about 20 seconds without colouring. Add the chilli and parsley to the hot oil. Cook for 10–20 seconds and then remove from the heat.
4.Place the pot you cooked the pasta in back on the hob. Add the mussels and white wine, followed by the pasta. Cover the saucepan and cook over a medium heat until the mussels have all opened. Peep inside the pot every so often to stir the mussels and the pasta. As soon as the mussels have opened, remove the pot from the heat and add the oil. Let the juices reduce for 2 minutes, then serve immediately.
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