Simple & Fresh Mussels Marinara

Mussels Marinara

Being “home” on Cape Cod for a few weeks, my wife and I cannot pass up the amount of fresh seafood at our fingertips. Tonight, we drove over to a local fish market (Fisherman’s View) in Sandwich, MA and picked up a few pounds of fresh mussels, as well as some oysters (my wife’s favorite), shrimp, and cod. This recipe is a simple but delicious recipe that really hits the spot on a summer night.

I’ll spare you my life story and drop the recipe first, and relevant information about mussels I’ll share below!

Delicious Mussels Marinara

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb of Fresh, Raw Mussels
  • 1 Quart (give or take) of Marinara
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • Fresh Basil for garnish
  • 8 ounces (or your preference) of Bucatini pasta

For the Marinara, I followed a recipe by acouplecooks, however I used fresh garlic, shallots, basil and oregano in my sauce.

Once you have your ingredients:

  • If you are following the above homemade marinara recipe, knock that out first and set it to a low simmer on your stove top. If you are using another recipe, or out of a jar, put it on the stove and warm it to a low simmer.
Homemade Marinara
  • At the same time, put a pot of hot water on the stove and salt the absolute hell out of it, and use this pot for your bucatini pasta. Depending on the brand you buy, the cook time may vary. Once the water is at a rolling boil, lower it to a simmer and add your pasta. Cook until al dente or your preferred doneness.
Raw, Cleaned Mussels
  • Make sure you rinse off your fresh mussels and lightly scrub any dirt off the outer side of the shells, and then drop them gently into your sauce. Give them a light stir and cover. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the mussels are all opened up.
Add Mussels to Marinara
  • Transfer to your dish of choice, and chiffonade your basil to be used as a garnish. For reference on chiffonade, check out my post on Knife Skills here.
  • Usually I’d add a piece of grilled garlic bread on the side, however we were short on our bread supply tonight!
  • Enjoy!

All About Mussels

To learn more about specific mussels, I’d recommend checking out this post by Cape Cod Shellfish & Seafood Co. For this recipe we used PEI mussels, which are from Prince Edward Island up north in Canada. These types of mussels are “Rope-Grown” meaning they are suspended in long lines inside mesh stockings. These mussels are known to be very sweet and tender, available year round, and have a great meat yield.

Mussels Nutrient Facts

A 3 ounce portion of steamed mussels contains the follow

  • Calories: 146
  • Protein: 20g
  • Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 6g

But let’s be real, most of us are eating at least 8-16oz of these bad boys, so you’ll definitely be loading up on that protein. Besides the big 3 macronutrients, mussels are also known to be rich in vitamins and minerals such as Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Calcium.

Mussels: Dead or Alive?

This is a brief but important section to understand when it comes to enjoying these tasty pieces of shellfish. Typically, when raw, your mussels will all be closed, or relatively closed. If they are open (and don’t close when you squeeze them) that is a good indicator that they have gone bad, or died. If you can’t tell prior to cooking, another great indicator is that when the rest of the bunch are cooked, and opened up, the dead ones will still be closed. TOSS THOSE OUT!

Closing Up

So, while mussels are great in the variation we shared above, they can be cooked in a ton of different ways and enjoyed with a multitude of different spices, herbs, wines, pastas, or by themselves. I’ll be sure to post a few more recipes down the road with different variations. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations and thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot me a message on instagram at @thyme.with.dad or email at matt@thymewithdad.com