Briny mussels, sweet tomatoes and pungent basil make a perfect accent for pasta. Make the pasta while the pasta cooks for a dish that’s quick enough for a weeknight dinner — just add a simple salad to round out the meal.
Spaghetti and Mussels with Tomatoes and Basil
6 oz. (185 g.) spaghetti, preferably multigrain
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large shallot minced
1/8-1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 lb. (500 g.) mussels
1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) dry white wine
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
3/4 lb. (375 g.) cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g.) slivered fresh basil
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir well and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the shallot and pepper flakes and saute until the shallot is almost tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mussels, wine and lemon zest. Cover the pan and cook until the mussel shells begin to open, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until starting to soften, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open.
Drain the pasta and transfer to a warmed large shallow bowl. Pour the mussels and sauce over the pasta. Add the basil and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and toss to coat the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve right away. Serves 2.
Find more simple, seasonal weeknight recipes in our cookbook Weeknight Fresh + Fast, by Kristine Kidd.