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AROUND GREECE

Mussel Pilaf with Tiny Pasta

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Ingredients

What you need:

  • 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 or rise.

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Serve immediately!