polenta with mussels
polenta con le cozze
TOTAL TIME: 60 minutes
MAKES: 4 servings
- 3 cups water
- Fine sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups coarse white polenta
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed with the side of a chefs knife
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
In a large saucepan, bring water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Slowly add polenta in a thin stream, whisking; reduce heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until thickened and tender, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat until warm and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add mussels. Cook, covered, until mussels just open wide, checking frequently after 3 minutes and transferring open mussels to a bowl using a slotted spoon; reserve the pot with any liquid. Discard any mussels that remain unopened after 8 minutes. When cool enough to handle, detach meat and discard all but 12 half-shells.
Strain mussel cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and return to pot. Add remaining 1/2 cup oil, wine, garlic and peppercorns to pot. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in parsley.
Place three 1/4 cup scoops of polenta on a plate, top each scoop with a mussel shell. Fill each shell with 2 to 3 mussels, then spoon sauce over the top. Repeat to make 4 plates. Serve warm.
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