Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mussels over Angel Hair Pasta with a White Wine Garlic Sauce

It sounds scary to cook mussels, but they really are easy. I buy a pound for one person. It really ends up being about 3 oz of actual meat. So it is a nice light meal! 

1 lb Mussels
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 c. Red Onion, finely chopped
1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped
1/2 c. White Wine
1 tbsp Butter spread
1 wedge of Lemon

2 oz Angel Hair Pasta (1/8 of a box/package)

To clean the mussels:

Leave them in clean cold water for 20 minutes so they breath out some sand and salt.  Scrub them clean with a brush.  If they have the little hairs coming out, yank them out towards the hinge of the mussel.  It is usually easier to grab them with a dry towel. Dry them off and set aside. Make sure not to cook the mussels that are open or cracked, they are probably dead.

Heat up a 9-10 inch skillet to medium heat,  (use one that has a lid or if you have a big enough plate to cover it fully, use that as a lid). Add the olive oil.

At the same time boil a pot of salted water for the pasta.

(wait till the water is boiling so your timing works out)

Add the onion and garlic to the skillet, season with salt and pepper.  Saute for about 2-3 minutes. Add the mussels and white wine. Cover. Let them steam for 5 minutes.

Right after covering the mussels, add the pasta to the water. It should only take 3 minutes to cook. 

Drain the pasta and add it to a big bowl. Now the mussels should be ready.  Add the mussels on top of the pasta. Make sure to just use a spoon so you leave the sauce in the pan. Throw away any that did not open.

Continue to cook down the sauce for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter spread, just until it is melted.  Spoon the sauce over the mussels (there may be sand at the very bottom), and finish it with a squeeze of the lemon wedge.

I would have added fresh parsley, if I had not forgot it at the store.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes over Goat Cheese Polenta with Eggs

If you don't want to make the polenta, you can find already made polenta in the pasta aisle.

For the Tomatoes:

1 c. Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half (I love Natures   Sweet Cherubs)
1 Garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 tsp. Dried Thyme
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Crushed Red Pepper (optional)

For the Polenta:
1/4 c. Dry Polenta
1 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1 oz. Goat Cheese (or any other you like, feta, cheddar, etc.)
pepper, to taste

For the Eggs:
2 Eggs
non stick spray
1 tbsp water
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 375 deg. In a small oven proof dish, (I usually use a small Pyrex bowl like the one to the right,) add all the ingredients for the tomatoes and stir. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Stir once half way through the cooking time.

Heat a skillet on medium so it is ready for the eggs.

Start the polenta after the tomatoes are done. In a small pot, boil the water and add the salt. Once the water is boiling, whisk in the polenta and continually stir for 5 minutes. Whisk in the cheese till it is melted. Pour your polenta on a plate. (These instructions will be on the back of the polenta. If you use pre-made polenta, just heat it up and stir in the cheese.)

Spray the heated skillet with non-stick spray. Crack the eggs into the skillet.  Add the water and cover the skillet with a lid or plate. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the eggs are done as you like. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Top the polenta with the tomatoes then the eggs.