This is such a beautiful dish; the shiny black mussel shells contrast with the red pepper and the creamy beige flesh. Serve it with fresh fruit and crusty bread.
- ½ pound spaghetti pasta
- 4 pounds cleaned mussels
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1½ cups dry white wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; cook spaghetti pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, place mussels in a colander; pick over them to remove any opened mussels; rinse well and set aside.
In large stockpot big enough to hold the mussels, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add red bell pepper; cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes, until crisp-tender. Sprinkle with oregano and pour wine into pot; bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper, then add mussels.
Cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Cook, shaking pan frequently, for 4 to 7 minutes or until all mussels open. (Discard any mussels that do not open.) Remove mussels and bell peppers from pot and place in serving bowl.
Strain liquid and pour half over mussels. Combine remaining liquid with cooked and drained spaghetti; serve immediately with the mussels.
Mussels used to be difficult to prepare because they needed to be cleaned, debearded, and scrubbed. Now you can buy them precleaned, with the beards off; just rinse and use. Be sure to discard open mussels and those with broken shells before cooking, and discard mussels that aren't open after cooking.