Mussels Marinara with Angel Hair Pasta

January 23, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

A girlfriend and I used to work together (over 20 years ago!) and go to a restaurant on Rt. 1 in Norwood MA called Franco's for lunch. They had the very best breadsticks which we decadently dipped in butter and ate while waiting for our lunch. We did this every other week for a few years! Our lunch every time was mussels marinara served over angel hair and it was divine. I still make my own version to this day. - kristy49 —kristy49

Test Kitchen Notes

This dish is close enough to an old-school mussels marinara to take me back to my earlier years in New York and Boston, but it also has a few delicious twists to keep it current. The pinch of cinnamon is a nice touch and my daughter even commented on the lovely citrus flavor—kristy49 uses both orange zest and lemon juice. We dug in to the beautifully arranged bowls with gusto, slurping the tasty sauce out of the mussel shells. We enjoyed this meal and will make it again! —healthierkitchen

What You'll Need
  • 3 pounds bag of mussels
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced fine
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup white dry wine (pinot grigio)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 stalk celery minced
  • 1 cup canned whole tomatoes, crushed by hand (or minced fresh from the garden)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 sprig oregano
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch cruched red pepper(optional)
  • 2 cups cooked al dente angel hair, drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated)
  1. Rinse, trim beards if any, and scrub mussels under cold running water, disgarding any broken shells.
  2. Add 1/8 cup olive oil to large pot and saute onion, celery, garlic until limp, then add zest, lemon juice, wine, cinnamon, tomatoes, oregano, paste, sea salt & pepper, red pepper if desired, and bring to a boil.
  3. Add mussels and steam until all are opened about 10-12 minutes max.
  4. Place 1 cup cooked angel hair in each serving bowl, and top with 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon grated cheese.
  5. Scoop mussels and broth on top and surrounding pasta, drizzle remainder of olive oil and top with rest of grated cheese.
  6. Top with drizzle of olive oil and remaining grated cheese, and serve with crusty bread for dipping into the broth.
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  • Tbird
  • healthierkitchen
  • sroche

3 Reviews

Tbird August 28, 2013
So I made this last night. The verdict: my 2 girls (12 & 7) loved it - in fact, my 12 year old ate more mussels than all of us combined! My wife found the cinnamon a bit overpowering (she's not a fan of the sweet/savory style - dislikes curries, 5 spice powders, etc.) I thought it was an extremely different recipe for mussels. I usually just do a straight marinara or wine, lemon & herbs. Thanks so much - this was a great summer meal (and my wife didn't hate it, just recommended I don't make it for HER again!)
sroche March 9, 2011
made this tonight and it turned out great!! we added a shallot and used a whole can of whole tomatoes (not just a cup). when i make it again, i'll probably double the sauce bc i cannot get enough of it. thanks for the great recipe!!
healthierkitchen February 4, 2011
just made this tonight to test for EP and it was delish!