This recipe of mine has changed over the years, and as you can see from the list of ingredients, there’s still plenty of room for improvisation:
- ½ cup white wine
- Stick of butter
- Red pepper flakes
- Diced tomatoes
- Fettuccini (box)
- Mussels (2 lbs)
- Lemon Juice
First, you may want to soak and de-beard the mussels. Since we’ll be putting the mussels, shell and all, into our meal, you may also want to scrub the shell. I don’t – I think rinsing is fine – but to each his or her own.
Next, fry the onions and garlic in the butter for a little while. I might use a large onion, or less, or more. Similarly, the amount of garlic you use is up to you. I use at least a few crushed cloves. Again, how much you want to cook things at this stage is up to you.
Next add your white wine and diced tomatoes.
And then your lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Again, you have discretion in how much you use. You can always add more red pepper later, if you want it spicier – and in my opinion, this dish is better with some kick. But it’s up to you.
At some point, you may want to start making your fettuccini. Follow the instructions on the box. I use a whole box, but again, it’s up to you. And I add olive oil and a bit of salt to the water, but you may do things differently.
Add the mussels. Yup, just pour them in there – just the mussels, that is; not the water they were soaking in.
Cover the pot – let them steam. In the heat, they’ll gradually open, which is how you know they’re cooked. At some point, you may want to add in the noodles, too. Then cover the pan again so the mussels can continue to cook.
When the mussels are fully open, the dish is done. You should taste test it, and see how much salt and pepper you want to add, and decide whether you want to add more lemon juice or white wine or red pepper flakes or anything else. Then you get to the good part: