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Mussels Marinara... goodbye my salty friends! · 13.01.07 by colin newell

I know that my readers from CoffeeCrew.Com think I am a swarthy tough guy that catches bullets with his teeth, busts international drug cartels completely alone and roams the mean streets of Victoria at night, in an annoying scratchy man-outfit from Lululemon maintaining law and order…

But no. I am just like you. and you. and you and you.
Except for one minor detail.
This is the first time I have cooked with truely live ingredients.
Mussels. From Saltspring Island – a Gulf Island near Victoria.

Sure, I work with coffee all the time and I think of coffee as a truely living entity… but that is not the point. This is live food.
I bought them. I cleaned them (re-cleaned them actually) and prepared them for their glorious moment.

As I held each mussel in my hand, checking their integrity (liveliness I guess…) and bathing them in a soothing and cool final bath of water, I apologized and thanked each one for the briny goodness to follow…

Salt Spring Island Mussels MarinaraMussels with Marinara Sauce
A warming dish to serve on a dreary winter day.

Makes: 3 to 4 servings

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium purple onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 to 4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup dry red wine
14 oz can diced tomatoes and 2 tsp. tomato paste
pinch dried oregano and sugar
pinch chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs fresh mussels*
chopped chinese parsley (cilantro)

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions, and garlic. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Add wine, tomatoes, oregano, sugar, salt, chili flakes and pepper. Turn heat to medium-high and simmer sauce 5 minutes. Add mussels, cover and cook until mussels open (discard any that do not). Sprinkle with fresh herbs. Serve as is with lots of warm crusty bread. Serves 3 to 4, depending on appetite.

Note: Rinse mussels in cold water before cooking, removing any beard-like material from their sides. Discard any that do not close when tapped.

This dish goes down extra-well with a very tall glass of Red Wine.
It helps ease the guilt…


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