Pasta with Mussels and Tomatoes

From George Germon and Johanne Killeen, 1988 Best New Chefs, now at Al Forno in Providence. Fast Weekday Pastas



  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, minced

  • 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced

  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine

  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3/4 pound spaghettini

  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, deep skillet until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat until fragrant and softened, about 6 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high, add the wine and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 12 minutes. Add the tomatoes, crushed red pepper and mussels. Cover and cook until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mussels with a slotted spoon to a large warmed bowl. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, cover and remove the skillet from the heat.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

  3. Add the pasta and the water to the sauce and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Add the pasta and the sauce to the mussels and toss. Sprinkle with the parsley, drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and serve.

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