250g/9oz dried tagliatelle
A dash of olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and
2 cloves garlic, finely
1 glass dry white wine
1kg/2lb 3oz Irish mussels,
scrubbed (discard any that
don't snap shut when
100mls/4fl oz cream or
1 tbsp chopped parsley
and crusty bread, to serve
This is the kind of simple dish you might be lucky enough to find on a menu at one of the Bord Iascaigh Mhara 'Seafood Circle' restaurants. Mussels have an affinity with pasta and make a quick meal that is also special.
Although fresh pasta is fun to make, a good dried pasta, such as one of the classic Italian brands made with durum wheat, will be very good and much more convenient in the holidays. My own favourite is the delicious Noodle House brand from Sligo. Serves two.
1 Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for about five minutes, until al dente, then drain, rinse with hot water and keep warm.
2 Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook gently over moderate heat until softened, but do not allow to colour.
3 Increase the heat, add the white wine and mussels, cover with the lid and allow to steam for three to four minutes, or until the mussels have opened.
4 Remove the mussels with a slotted spoon, discard any that have not opened, and divide between two bowls with the pasta.
5Pour the cream or creme fraiche into the mussel cooking liquor, whisk well, taste (and season if necessary), then pour over the mussels and pasta.
6 Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately with crusty bread.