Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds mussels, preferably cultivated, scrubbed clean
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 pound linguini
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 cup zucchini, cut into 2 x 1/8 x 1/8 inch strips
  • 1 teaspoon peperoncino (crushed red pepper)
  • 1 cup zucchini flowers, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Lidia’s Italian Table

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Lidia’s Italian Table

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Directions

Pull off the beards that stick out of the flat side of the mussel shell if necessary. Scrub the mussels well under cold water and drain them completely. In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the crushed garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the mussels, white wine and thyme. Cover the skillet and steam, shaking the skillet once or twice, until the mussels open, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open. Transfer the mussels with a slotted spoon to a bowl and let them stand until cool enough to handle. Strain the mussel broth through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. If necessary, return the broth to the skillet and boil the liquid until reduced to 1 ½ cups. Pick the mussels out of shells, leaving 18 in the shell for garnish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in the linguini. When the water returns to a boil, uncover the pot. Cook the pasta, stirring occasionally, until al dente— tender but firm— about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Immediately add the zucchini and peperoncino and stir until the zucchini is wilted, about 2 minutes. Add zucchini flowers and stir until they are wilted, about 2 minutes. (If using zucchini strips in place of the flowers stir about 4 minutes total, until the zucchini begin to give off liquid.) Add the shelled mussels and stir 1 minute. Finally, add the mussel broth and bring it to a boil. Boil until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Drain the linguini and return it to the pot over low heat. Pour half of the mussel sauce over the pasta and toss well. Serve on individual plates, spooning on the remaining sauce and garnishing with the reserved whole mussels. NOTE: Zucchini flowers appear in early spring in green markets, specialty food stores and some supermarkets. If they are unavailable, substitute an additional ½ cup of zucchini strips.

Lidia’s Italian Table

Cookbook

Lidia’s Italian Table

buy now