I adore mussels and I love the Italian term for this dish. Diavola translates to devil. This recipe has a bit of heat and if you have time make the sauce a day ahead so the flavours have time to mature. Find the best mussels that are plump, fresh and juicy. You will not be disappointed.
8 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
4 tbsp olive oil
680g/28oz romano strained tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp capers
3- 4 tbsp caper berries
zest from 1 lemon
¼ c green onion
¼ c freshly grated pecorino cheese
1/3 cup full bodied red wine
600g/90g/person fresh linguine
1-1.5 kg live farmed mussels
Over a medium low heat, in a deep 12 – inch skillet sauté garlic in olive oil with red chilli flakes. Stir frequently until soft and fragrant. About 3-4 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add sea salt and olive oil and cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander, place colander over pot with steaming water. Return pasta to stove add olive oil cover, keeping warm until sauce is complete.
Add strained tomatoes, capers, caper berries and red wine. Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes or until sauce has thickened and will stick to the pasta.
Clean mussels well under cold water. When pasta is nearly cooked, raise sauce to a medium heat. Add mussels to sauce cooking covered until mussels separate from the shell. 3-4 minutes.
Mix linguine into sauce add lemon zest, green onion and freshly grated pecorino cheese. Serve.
Make sure the mussels are of high quality. A wonderful locally sourced farm is Aqua Prime Mussel Ranch, often found at my neighborhood Local Source Market.