Marinera Mussels (Mejillones Marinera) is, usually, a typical dish in Spain. It simply combines 2 of the best things on earth: Pasta and Marinera Mussels cooked in sparkling wine. More precisely: Cava, a Spanish sparkling wine, but it could be replace by any type of sparkling wines. This touch makes the dish even more dreamy and bubbly! The natural sea broth coming out from the mussels flowing down the cava tomato sauce is disturbingly addictive.
In Spain, there is a myth about: “should marinera sauce contain tomatoes or not?” I would say half does it with paprika and wine the other half with tomato and wine. Both ways are fine, I, personnaly, prefer with tomatoes especially since it’s served on pasta. The original marinera sauce use an onion, but I’ve changed it for simple fresh chives in the end of preparation. The chive gives a nice contrasting color to the dish and an extra spicy bite to it.
Mussels are great, they are naturally filled with flavour, in particular, the natural sea broth they bring with them is so tasty. You’ll have to be careful not to bring the sand they might hide in their shells into the sauce. So the first step should be, when arriving home with your freshly bought mussels to clean then under cold water to get rid of the impurities. You can keep them in the fridge or eat them right away, mussels live a few days in the fridge in a bowl with a wet cloth on top. The best place for them in the fridge is in the back. This way, they will be happy as clams… well.. mussels. When you are ready to cook them just clean the “beard” off , scrub them, and rinse them under cold water again. If they still particularly sandy, just soak them in cold water before using them, so they breath, then mix it up, they will release the extra sand.
Let’s get those mussels cleaned up!
Pasta Marinera al Cava
Makes 4 portions
- 500g pasta of your choice
- 30 mussels (more or less)
- 250ml (1cup) cava, or white wine
- 400g of grinded tomatoes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic clove finely chopped
- 2 tbsp thyme
- 2 tbsp chives finely chopped
- 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley
- salt and pepper
- Debeared and wash (cold water) your mussels
- Add the oil, thyme, garlic, pepper then the wine and tomato to a big pan and reduce for about 10 minutes
- During that time cook your pasta
- Add the mussels to the cava-tomato sauce, cover it up, let cook about 4 minutes until the mussels open up
- Add the parsley and chives
- Serve the sauce and mussels on the pasta with an extra sprinkle of parsley, salt and pepper
Serve with the leftover of bubbly Cava. Enjoy!