Let me tell you a story about mussels.

Manatee and I used to love mussels. Love, love, love them. Then one fateful night after dining on coconut curry mussels, I had an experience. Manatee describes the night as follows: “Badger Girl got home and said she wasn’t feeling like herself. She curled up on the couch and all of a sudden, she sat straight up. “Oh darn*!” she said in a strange voice and then she ran down the hall to the bathroom. I didn’t see her the rest of the night.”

*-I may or may not have said something a tad more colorful.

I will leave you with his version of the story because mine is not appropriate for a cooking blog.

So you can imagine my horror when Francesco Mangano told me his favorite quick, go-to dinner: mussels. Being totally professional, I challenged him. “Mussels, really? Are you sure there isn’t anything else you like to make?” He shook his head and began to tell me the recipe. “No really,” I tried again, “Maybe a pasta?” He told me after he made the mussels, he tossed them with pasta.


There was no way out. I had to do it.

Quick and Easy Mussels

Olive oil

Chile pepper, chopped

Garlic, minced

Mussels (cleaned)

White wine

Crusty bread for dipping

  1. Heat the oil in the pan over medium heat. Add chiles and garlic.
  2. Heat the garlic until it is golden brown. Add mussels.
  3. Add white wine and cover.
  4. Cook for 4-6 minutes. The mussels will open when they are cooked.
  5. Place mussels in shallow bowl and pour pan juice over them.
  6. Serve, enjoy and sop up that juice with the crusty bread.

Warning: If a mussel does not open, for the love of god: do not try to open and eat it. Throw it away and run screaming from the trash can.

Recipe Review: I am over my mussel experience. These were super quick (8 minutes including chopping of the chiles and garlic) and very tasty. A very impressive first course or light dinner.

Mussels Sauce

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