Mussels taste good … and are good for the ocean. Like oysters and clams, farmed mussels help clean coastal waters by filtering seawater for their food. On the culinary side, mussels are good steamed or served with pasta. The spicy dish featured here combines steamed mussels and pasta. (Click here to see the recipe.)
The mussels are steamed in a piquant tomato sauce and served with linguini. The tomato sauce features fresh thyme, white wine, capers, and red pepper flakes for heat. Before its served, the dish gets a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley. Click here to see the recipe
The aquarium rates farmed mussels a “Best Choice,” because they’re “raised in an environmentally responsible way. Mussels don’t rely on fishmeal or fish oil as part of their diet.”
The aquarium also notes that “diseases are rare, so antibiotics and chemicals aren’t necessary and the farming operation often benefits the surrounding marine habitat.”
Kristine Kidd, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s food editor who developed the recipe, offers these tips for buying and handling mussels:
- When you get the mussels home, remove them from the plastic bag, half fill a bowl with ice and place the shells on top. Serve them that same day. Mussels are cooked through when they open; discard any that do not open.
- To prepare mussels for cooking, scrub the shells with a stiff brush. Remove any threads extending from the shell (called beards) by grabbing with fingers or a cloth and pulling towards the hinge end of the shell.
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