Pasta with Mussels, Garlic, and Parsley


  • 1 lb 2 oz/500 g mussels, cleaned
  • 5 oz/150 g long pasta, such as spaghetti or linguine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 bouillon (stock) cube made up to scant 1/2 cup (3 1/2 fl oz/100 ml) broth (stock) with boiling water
  • Large handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

TIP: Add a 14-oz/400-g can of chopped tomatoes to the sauce to bulk it out and make it go further. If you are thinking of enjoying a glass of wine with this dish, add a splash to the pan with the broth (stock); it won’t be wasted.

If you can’t find fresh mussels, you can cheat and use a vacuum pack of mussels in garlic butter sauce. Simply cook the mussels according to the package directions, then toss through the cooked pasta. Don’t tell anyone we told you that though!


1. First, clean the mussels by scrubbing any dirt and barnacles from the shells, removing the strands of seaweed and throwing away any with broken shells.

2. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling, salted water for 10 minutes, or according to the package directions, until al dente. Drain well.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the onion, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft but not colored. Add the garlic and cook for another 1 minute. Increase the heat, tip in the mussels, and stir to coat in the onion and garlic. Pour in the broth (stock), cover with the lid, and cook for 5 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time until all the mussels are opened. Discard any mussels that remain closed.

4. Add the pasta and parsley to the pan and toss through the mussels. Ladle the pasta and any juices into bowls and serve immediately.

From The Kitchen Shelf, © 2016, by Eve O'Sullivan and Rosie Reynolds. Used by permission of Phaidon Press.

Prep time: 
Cook time: 

Top Recipes

Book Excerpts

The Rules for Pan-Seared Steak

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt has nine rules to follow to get your pan-seared steak to maximum juiciness.