Lunch on the porch…Yes, pasta is a staple around here, all kinds of pasta and a day or two go we shopped at Whole Foods and ended up with a bag of fresh mussels for just for me. Mike won’t eat them, so I cooked up a little dish of pasta and Jacques’ favorite tomato sauce/uncooked merely fresh diced tomatoes, garlic, basil a little thyme, salt, pepper and a few glugs of my new favorite olive oil, Novello Reserve. Make ahead, cover and leave at room temp at least an hour or more.
I prepared and simmered a steam bath for the mussels while the pasta water came to a boil since the mussels take just minutes to open, you can make the steam broth a little ahead of time.
Steam bath: I just tossed together wine, EVOO, a quartered lemon, garlic, fresh herbs, pepper, red pepper flakes and sun-dried tomatoes, place a steam rack into your pot, bring to boil simmer for a few minutes then toss in the cleaned mussels and steam until they just open, I pluck them out just as they open.
I cooked a little capellini and added it to the tomato “sauce” topped with mussels and poured some of the hot steam liquid over, toss pasta, season with salt, pepper and I like a few more red pepper flakes.
Finish your bowl of pasta with a few chopped fresh herbs.