Garlic mussels with Chardonnay and cherry tomatoes

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10 min


2 servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 20 minutes


  • 250 g fettuccine or spaghetti pasta
  • 1 kg mussels
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion , coarsely chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves , minced or crushed
  • 2 cups whole cherry tomatoes , or 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 tsp hot red-chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 cups baby spinach , or 2 284-g bags spinach


  • To cook pasta, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Meanwhile, yank off any hairy beards protruding from mussel shells, then rinse shells under cold running water. Heat butter in a large wide saucepan set over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté, stirring often, just until onion softens a bit, about 2 minutes. Then add tomatoes, wine, tarragon, chili flakes and salt. Increase heat to high and boil, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until wine is almost evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add pasta to boiling water and stir until all strands are separated. Then boil rapidly, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until al dente, from 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add all of mussels to onion mixture. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook until most mussels have opened, about 6 minutes. Stir spinach into mussel mixture just until it starts to wilt, no more than 2 minutes. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened. Add well-drained pasta to pan and toss until coated with sauce. Serve immediately.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 316,
  • Protein
  • 18.4 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 20.4 g,
  • Fat
  • 15 g,
  • Fibre
  • 2.8 g,
  • Sodium
  • 512 mg.

Preparation tips

  • P.E.I. farm-raised mussels are of such superior quality that some upscale New York restaurants describe them as “Prince Edward Island mussels” on their menus. They’re now sold in mesh bags in many supermarkets in Canada.
  • Store mussels in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Use within 1 day.
  • Remove mussels from their bag and place in a sink. If a beard is protruding from the shell, yank it off. Rinse each mussel under cold running water.
  • If mussels are not tightly closed or do not close when tapped, throw them away–they are not alive and fresh.
  • To cook, cover the bottom of a large saucepan with water or white wine and bring to a boil. You can also add some shredded fresh or dried basil, Italian seasonings, curry powder or chili flakes and lots of chopped garlic. Then add all of mussels. Cover tightly and cook over medium-high heat until mussels have opened, from 6 to 8 minutes. Stir partway through and discard any mussels that have not opened after cooking.