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Creamy Saffron Pasta with Mussels and Spinach
serves 4

Creamy Saffron Pasta with Mussels and SpinachIngredients

  • 2 pounds mussels

  • 1 pound casarecce pasta

  • 4 ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 large shallots, sliced (or 3 small shallots)

  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

  • 1/2 cup organic low-sodium chicken stock

  • 3/4 teaspoon saffron

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  1. Place the mussels in a large bowl full of water and ice.  Add 1 to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, and let the mussels sit for 1 hour.  They will spit out any sand.  Rinse the mussels, pull of any beards your fish-seller may have overlooked, and set aside.

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and salt it well.  Boil the pasta to al dente, adding the spinach at the last second, then drain.

  3. Meanwhile, in a wide braising pan, heat the oil and butter on medium heat.  Add the shallots and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.  Sweat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until shallots are soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.  Add the white wine, and simmer for 1 minute.  Add the chicken stock and saffron, cover and turn the heat to high, and bring the liquid to a boil.

  4. Add mussels to the pot, and lower the heat to medium.  Cover, and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, or until all mussels have opened.  Take the pan off the heat, and stir in cream.  Add in drained pasta and spinach, and return to low heat, stirring for 1 minute, until the pasta has absorbed some of the sauce and color of the saffron.  Serve immediately.

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