Linguine With Mussels & Marinara Sauce (Classic Italian Recipe)


Linguine With Mussels

This recipe in Italian is called "Cozze Alla Marinara" Or sometimes called "Cozze Al Sugo Di Pomodoro" which means mussels with tomato sauce. The dish is an absolute delight and delicious! It's a very popular dish served in most authentic Italian restaurants.

The earliest Mussels recipe originated from Ancient Rome. They were cooked in white wine combined with various spices.. During World War II mussels and tripe (beef stomach) became extremely popular in Italy because they were so inexpensive. In fact, they were considered the dishes for the lower class people.

After the war small restaurants and huts in Naples Italy started incorporating mussels in their menu with tomato sauce and other ingredients.. The dish is now part of the Italian culture and enjoyed by many around the world. Many countries in Europe have their own mussels recipes and are done in various ways.

Linguine With Mussels Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients For This Recipe
  • 1 Pound Of Mussels
  • Linguini (200g)
  • 1 Cup of canned Diced Tomato
  • 1 Cup of canned Tomato Sauce
  • 3 Stems of Thyme (Only The Leafs)
  • 1/4 Cup Of Chopped Basil
  • 1/4 cup of chopped Parsley
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic (Thinly Sliced)
  • 4 Tablespoons Of Olive Oil
  • Sliced Chili Pepper (Optional)
  • 3/4 Cup of Dry White Wine
  • Salt

How To Make Linguine With Mussels Marinara

Cleaning & Preparing The Mussels

1. First thing you want to do is clean the mussels, if you bought them at your local grocery store or market they are farm raised mussels and don't need much scrubbing probably not at all. If they are wild mussels they will need to be carefully cleaned.

Let's start by putting the mussels in a colander and rinse with fresh water to take out all the debris, sand, and particles on the shells. Then pick up one by one to de-beard them, some mussels tend to have hair-like fibers on the side of it's shell, these are called mussel beards. 

To de-beard a mussel, hold it in one hand, with the other hand yank the beard off by pulling towards the hinge of the mussel shell. 

cleaning mussels

Also, check if any mussels are open, if they are open tap them with your hand. If they close they are alive, if they don't close discard them. After you clean the mussels put them aside to start your sauce.

Preparing The Sauce:

2. Pour 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan, set the stove top a little higher than medium heat.. When the garlic starts sizzling add three leaf stems of thyme (only the leafs), 1/4 cup of chopped parsley, 1/4 cup of chopped basil.. 

3. Then add a 3/4 cup of dry white wine along with the mussels in the saucepan, wait for it to boil then put a lid for a minute or two until the mussels open.

Mussels In White Wine

4. When the mussels open scoop them up with a spider strainer and place them in a bowl or plate, leave the remaining sauce in the pan cooking. Discard any closed mussels.. Take the mussels out of the shells and leave half with the shells, then set them aside for later.

5. Add the tomato sauce, and dice tomato in the saucepan and let boil lightly for about 5 minutes.. Stir to blend in the flavors. Taste the sauce to add salt. You can add a sliced chili pepper if you like the sauce spicy.

6. After 5 minutes the sauce should be ready, put all the mussels in the sauce (shell and no shell). Stir slowly to blend all ingredients. Now you can put it on low heat with a lid until you linguine's are ready.

Mussels in tomato sauce

Cooking The Linguine:

7. Bring water to a boil in a large pot then add a tablespoon of salt. Add the linguine and wait about 10 minutes to taste the pasta, if it's too hard wait a little more. The linguine should be "Al Dente" meaning a little hard and not to soft.

8. When the linguine is cooked to your liking put them in a colander to strain the water.. Then take the linguine with a kitchen tong and slowly put them in the sauce.

9. Slowly mix the pasta with the sauce and mussels.. Give it a last taste to add salt and you are done. Congratulations you just made a great Italian dish.. Pair it with garlic bread and feel free to add parmesan on the linguine. Bon Appetito!

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