There are times when the art of cooking lies in adaptation. When the kitchen becomes a space for creativity, using what we have on hand, true wonders can emerge. Inspired by an Italian classic, this dish of spaghetti with mussels, enhanced by the sweetness of cocktail tomatoes and the subtle crunch of carrots, is the perfect illustration of this culinary magic. Easy to prepare yet sophisticated, this dish transforms simple, readily available ingredients into a delectable dining experience. Indulge yourself and discover how simplicity can be surprisingly tasty!
- Spaghetti: depending on the number of servings
- Frozen and already cooked mussels (or clams or shrimps according to your choice)
- 3-4 ripe plum tomatoes, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 French shallot, finely minced
- Crushed peppers, to taste
- Olive oil
- Grated parmesan
- Fresh basil (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- A few black olives and/or capers (optional)
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti according to package directions until al dente. Drain them, keeping a cup of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot and sauté until translucent.
Introduce the diced tomatoes into the pan, add a pinch of salt, pepper and the crushed peppers according to your taste. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender.
If you're using frozen, pre-cooked mussels, clams or shrimp, add them to the pan so they heat up nicely in the sauce, about 2-3 minutes. Add a few black olives and/or capers, to taste.
Then add the drained spaghetti to the pan and mix well so that the pasta is soaked in the sauce. If the preparation seems too dry, add a little of the pasta cooking water until you obtain the desired consistency.
Serve hot in soup plates, sprinkle with grated parmesan and garnish with fresh basil if desired.
Enjoy with a good white wine.
Question #1: How can I adapt this recipe if I don't have mussels?
You can replace the mussels with shrimp, clams or even chicken in small pieces. The taste will change, but the recipe will still be delicious!
Question #2: Can I use other types of tomatoes?
Yes, feel free to use cherry, romaine or any other type depending on your preference or what you have on hand.
Question #3: How do I store leftovers?
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will be good for 2-3 days. Reheat over low heat before serving.
Question #4: Can I prepare this recipe in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the sauce in advance and reheat it just before serving. Simply cook the pasta when ready to serve until it is al dente.
Question #5: How can I add a spicy touch to this dish?
You can add a pinch of crushed chili peppers or a little hot sauce for a spicy kick.
Question #6: Can I add other vegetables to this dish?
Absolutely! Zucchini, spinach or bell peppers will make great additions. Get creative!
Question #7: Which wine goes well with this dish?
A dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay will complement this dish wonderfully.