Creamy Seafood Pasta

So by now we’ve already established that the garlicky, seafood broth that comes from steaming French mussels is near perfection.  Frites are good in it, crusty baguette is good in it, and I’m here to advocate that twirly pasta deserves to be paired with it too.

This creamy seafood pasta gets its silken texture and perfectly infused flavor from cooking the noodles directly in the seafood broth.  The garlic, white wine flavor infiltrates every noodle strand, and the starch from the pasta combines with the broth to make the perfect sauce.  It’s heavenly.

Creamy Seafood Pasta with mussels, garlic, and white wine

The process for making this seafood pasta is very similar to making the grilled mussels from last week, except instead of serving the mussels right away after they’re done cooking you remove them from the pan and use the broth to cook some pasta in.  Easy enough, right?

Creamy Seafood Pasta

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes, or diced regular tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 lbs mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
  • 8 oz long fusilli
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Lemon wedges to garnish

  Creamy Seafood Pasta with Mussels, Garlic, and White Wine

Start by cleaning the mussels, removing any beards and discarding any that don’t close completely when tapped.  Store them in the refrigerator while you prep the rest of the ingredients so that they stay cold and don’t spoil.

In a large braiser or dutch oven heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter over medium heat.  Add the shallots and sauté for 5-6 minutes.  Once softened, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds longer.  Next, add the white wine and let simmer for 5 minutes while the alcohol cooks off.

After the wine simmers, add the remaining 2 tbsp butter and tomatoes.  Stir to combine.  Add the mussels to the hot pan and stir the contents so everything is well incorporated.  Cover the pan and let the mussels simmer for 4-5 minutes or until the majority of the mussels are open.

Creamy Seafood Pasta with mussels, garlic, and white wine

Once the mussels have opened, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley.  Wait until the mussels are cool enough to handle, then remove them from the broth.  I find it’s easiest to remove the mussels from their shells at this point, or you can do this while the pasta is cooking.

You’ll be left with a pan full of delicious, garlic seafood broth just waiting to swim around with some pasta.  You should have liquid in the pan to be able to just barely submerge the pasta while it cooks.  You can supplement with some vegetable or seafood broth if you don’t have enough.

Creamy Seafood Pasta with mussels, garlic, and white wine

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for half the time the package instructs.  You’re boiling the pasta in regular water first, and then halfway through transferring it to the broth to finish cooking.  This helps the pasta cook more evenly while still imparting that delicious seafood flavor into the dish.

 While the pasta cooks, return the broth to heat.  Halfway through cooking the pasta, transfer it to the broth and finish cooking over medium to medium high heat.  The liquid should be somewhere between simmering and boiling.

Creamy Seafood Pasta with mussels, garlic, and white wine

Add store bought vegetable or seafood broth to the pan if you notice it becoming too dry.  I found I had just the right amount of mussel & white wine broth to cook 8 oz of pasta, but yours might turn out different!  Trust your instincts and add some extra liquid if you think it needs it.

Once the pasta is done cooking, check a few strands for doneness.  You may need to add a few extra minutes than what the package instructions indicate since cooking the seafood pasta in the broth can be slower than fully submerging pasta in boiling water.

Creamy Seafood Pasta with mussels, garlic, and white wine

Once the pasta is done cooking, remove it from heat and add the parmesan cheese.  The cheese will help to thicken the starchy broth that remains in the pan, turning it into a perfectly creamy seafood pasta sauce.

Taste test some of the sauce for flavor.  I found I needed no additional salt since the mussels and the parmesan cheese both provide a savory flavor, but you might need some.  Again, trust your instincts and do whatever makes your food taste delicious!

Creamy Seafood Pasta with mussels, garlic, and white wine

Finally, add the shelled mussels to the pasta and stir everything together.  Garnish with some fresh lemon wedges and a sprinkling of parsley.

Bon Appétit!

Creamy Seafood Pasta with Mussels, Garlic & White Wine

Silky pasta ribbons with sweet mussels and a savory garlic & white wine sauce - this recipe is fast and satisfying.  

Course Main Course
Cuisine French, Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large shallots finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes or diced regular tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 lbs mussels scrubbed and de-bearded
  • 8 oz long fusilli
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Lemon wedges to garnish

Instructions

  1. Start by cleaning the mussels, removing any beards and discarding any that don't close completely when tapped. 

  2. In a large braiser heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 5-6 minutes. Once softened, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds longer. 

  3. Add the white wine and let simmer for 5 minutes while the alcohol cooks off.

  4. Add the remaining 2 tbsp butter and tomatoes. Stir to combine. 

  5. Add the mussels to the hot pan and stir the contents so everything is well incorporated. Cover the pan and let the mussels simmer for 4-5 minutes or until the majority of the mussels are open.

  6. Once the mussels have opened, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley. Wait until the mussels are cool enough to handle, then remove them from the broth. 

  7. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for half the time the package instructs.

  8. While the pasta cooks, return the broth to heat. Halfway through cooking the pasta, transfer it to the broth and finish cooking over medium to medium high heat. 

  9. Cook for the remainder of the time indicated on the package, then check for doneness.  Once the pasta is done cooking, remove it from heat and add the parmesan cheese. 

  10. Finally, add the shelled mussels to the pasta and stir everything together. Garnish with some fresh lemon wedges and a sprinkling of parsley.



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