The Marsala wine provides deep caramelized and nutty flavours to the dish along with the lovely aromas of saffron and the sweetness of the mussels, making this one of my all time favourite dishes to make at home.
I love mussels. Growing up, my mom would always make various dishes with mussels. Whether my mom would cook it in coconut milk with ginger and herbs or baked in butter, garlic and galangal, eating mussels was always a comforting treat.
I got this beautiful Mediterranean Mussels from Taylor Shellfish Farms, and what I love about it is its meaty and buttery texture. They grow their mussels suspended on rafts in the rich waters of Totten Inlet located in the Southern end of Puget Sound. The mussels are sweet and pure delicious!
What I love about this recipe is the addition of the Marsala wine as it imparts lovely caramelized and nutty flavours to the dish.
Wine pairing: 2006 R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Gravonia Crianza
Mussels in a Heavenly Marsala-Saffron Cream Broth
Prep time: 10minutes
Cook Time: 20minutes
2 pounds live Mussels
3 tbsp. of olive oil
1 medium sized shallots, minced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups dry Marsala wine
1.5 cups heavy cream or half and half
pinch of saffron (5-10 threads)
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
salt and pepper to taste
choppedItalian parsley to garnish
bread (to soak up the broth)
optional: 1/4 pounds of mushrooms such as Morels of Shimeji
- Check that all that mussels are firmly closed. For the mussels that are open, tap them with a back of a spoon or with another mussel, they should slowly close with any light stimulation. Discard any mussels that do not close at all, it means that they are dead and should not be eaten.
- Under cold running water, wash the mussels and use a brush to clean the shells of any debris and small barnacles.”Debeard” the mussels by pulling the beard that is sticking out of the shell. Pull the beard towards the hinged end.
- Heat the pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the shallots and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cook and stir for another minute.
- Add the Marsala wine, increase the heat and simmer until the smell of alcohol disappears. Marsala becomes sweeter, and add that caramelized nuttiness flavour once the alcohol is cooked off.
- Add the cream and saffron, stir and bring to a boil. Add the mussels, mushrooms (if using), and red peppers. Stir to coat every shell, and cover the pot. Boil the mussels until the shells open, about 5-8minutes. Discard any unopened shells.
- Taste the broth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon the mussels and broth into a bowl, and sprinkle over the Italian parsley to garnish.
- Serve with bread, cause trust me, the broth is insanely delicious!