Friday, October 27, 2006

Quick mussels spaghetti in a white wine and basil oil broth

I imagined that this dish - the first in the pasta section - would have to wait until I was home alone, because Simon has always rejected mussels, whereas I love them. I can't go to France without craving moules-frites (all those garlicky, winey, juices to dip the mussels and salty, golden chips into - heaven in a bowl) with crisp, cold white wine and crusty bread. Unsurprisingly I also like spaghetti with clams or with mussels, although I rarely eat either because Simon would always have turned his nose up had I suggested cooking them, and because I wouldn't order seafood in the kind of cheapo Italians I usually end up in, for fear of food poisoning. However yesterday a break-through occurred - Simon, he who hated mussels without tasting them, suggested this recipe. I was both delighted and worried - knowing it's someone's first mussel experience does hike the pressure up somewhat. Still, it gave me a chance to buy and cook mussels, which was an exciting Thursday night prospect.

This dish is, Jamie says, 'real fast cooking'; this is true, except that my mussels (admittedly naughtily bought at Tesco) seemed to be more bearded than most, so cleaning them took me forever. Once cleaned, however, the cooking was very simple indeed: cook spaghetti (only I used linguine) and meanwhile, make a basil oil paste with basil leaves anchovies, lemon, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cook the mussels in white wine in a preheated pan, toss everything together, and serve with chopped chilli and extra basil leaves.


The end result is appealing in its vibrant colours and flavours - lemon, chilli, basil. Unsurprisingly, I found it absolutely delicious. Simon - well, he ate the whole bowl happily. Jamie has converted my mussel-hating husband to mussels! What an unexpected outcome of this project and what better testimony to the power of Jamie's book? I am less scared, now, of broaching the subject of clam chowder (which had been another sticking point); Simon is an ideal guinea-pig for most dishes because he is very unfussy and eats almost everything, but clams, mussels, oysters, have always been a no-no. Clam chowder, here we come (but I had better wait a couple of weeks)...

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love the colors of that dish! Good job on Simon. If you want to work on Rafa, you are more than welcome. :))
LOL.

xoxo
ilana

Lisa said...

Does this mean you can at last try Gordons Curried Monkfish me and the grem rave about? lol SIL

Simon said...

lisa, get with the programme! You know we only cook Jamie recipes in our house nowadays! lol

Sous-chef

Anonymous said...

Sous-Chef...in being an avid reader of this blog(normally to pass the last 30 mins in the office)I must protest! I have certainly noticed an allegance in your household to Nigella and Delia. lol SIL

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