Spaghetti con le Cozze e Pomodori (Mussels and Tomatoes)

45 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed well
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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  1. Remove any mussels that are broken or which do not close immediately if tapped. Scrub the mussels well with a wire sponge or brush.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta and tomatoes.
  3. Blanche the tomatoes in the boiling water (one minute) . Remove with slotted spoon. Place in a bowl of cold water to stop from cooking. Peel, the remove seeds and cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, add a few tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the garlic until golden. Add the mussels and then the wine, and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the shells open (discarding any mussels with a shell that does not open). Remove the mussels from the skillet with a slotted spoon and then remove all but 12 mussels from their shells. Place all shelled mussels back into the skillet with the remaining liquid.
  5. In a separate skillet, sauté the tomatoes in olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add this mixture to the large skillet containing the mussels and heat together. Add back the mussels remaining in their shells.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti until al dente (two minutes less than package recommends). Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the mussels. Mix together over medium heat for about a minute.
  7. Serve immediately, evenly distributing the mussels.

Ed's Review

Certain musical triggers are unavoidable. When I see mussels, in  my head I start singing Squeeze's classic, "Pulling Mussels." The song has nothing to do with mussels...

Yes, my musical taste dates me, and I really do enjoy all types of music, but it's the 80's New Wave stuff that is stuck on my brain. Here is my happy trigger list. I'm not sure what it says about my personality, but it makes me break out into song (not necessary in this order):

Pulling Mussels, Squeeze

The Logical Song, Supertramp

Is She Really Going Out with Him, Joe Jackson

Rock Lobster, B-52's

My Sharona, The Knack

Whip It, Devo

Life's Been Good,  Joe Walsh,

Tainted Love, Soft Cell

Don’t you Want Me, the Human League

Super Freak, Rick James

 Honorable mention to The Cure, Depeche Mode, the Hooters, The Cars, INXS, and REM.  As for The Police, to be honest, meh! And please help me to forget 99 Red Balloons and Call Me.

Enjoy the Spaghetti con le Cozze e Pomodori. The tomatoes add a little tang to the flavor profile. A great spring/summer dish. And oh, play some of your favorite music when you make it.

Buon Appetito!


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