Mussel Pilaf with Tiny Pasta
(For 4-6 Servings)
- 3 pounds (1 1/2 kilos) mussels, preferably Greek farmed mussels
- 1/3 cup Greek extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large squid, cleaned, body cut into thin rings, tentacles chopped
- 1 cup peeled, seeded, chopped plum tomatoes
- 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 pound tiny Greek couscousi pasta or other tiny pasta
- Wash the mussels very well, scrubbing their shells and removing their stringy beards. Place in a large pot without any water, cover, and heat over low heat. Let them steam in their own juices until the shells open, for about 5 minutes. Discard any mussels whose shells have not opened.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the garlic and squid tentacles until bright pink, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato, parsley, salt and pepper and simmer the sauce for about 20 minutes over low heat, until thick. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until tender but al dente, about 7 minutes.
- Strain the mussels, and strain their liquid through a fine mesh sieve. Shell half the mussels. Add the steaming mussel juices and the mussels themselves to the sauce. Drain the pasta with a slotted spoon and empty it into the sauce, sprinkling it with about one cup of the pasta liquid, until the final dish is juicy.