Spaghetti with Mussels in White Wine and Cream

by thomandaimee

Spaghetti with Mussels in White Wine and Cream
There was a great catch in the markets recently. Mussels were going at a dollar. A DOLLAR! They just went straight into our basket without any second thought. According to BBC, mussels were regarded a poor man’s shellfish. Whether they are for the rich or poor, they are tasty nonetheless!

Speaking of which, we have been reading up a lot on eating seasonally and the topic of sustainable seafood came round. Talk about overfishing and unethical fishing has been going on for a long time, many of the fish populations of our world are in danger of extinction. Not trying to be a tree-hugger, but we all need to play our part in environment conservation. Or the dolphins will attack us.

You can refer to WWF Singapore for the different types of seafood that should not be on your plates. Though our only complaint is that there is hardly any Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) labelling at any of the markets and bringing along a whole list of fish species makes grocery shopping a bitch. (WWF Singapore, please do something about this.)

Back on the mussels, this is a simple dish anyone can whip up in minutes. Every time there is shellfish involved, our hands subconsciously reach out for a bottle of white. (We lie; we are always thirsty with or without shellfish.) They do go so well with white wine and some cream. The deep emerald tones of the shells in contrast of the pale creamy pasta just makes one salivate. We had happy tummies after that.

Spaghetti with Mussels in White Wine and Cream
Adapted from James Tanner

Serves 1

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 shallot, sliced
200g fresh mussels in shells, beards removed
50ml white wine
50ml double cream
2 tablespoons fresh dill
150g pasta, cooked al dente
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Sprigs of parsley


Heat olive oil on a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and saute for two minutes, until softened.

Add mussels, then white wine. Stir well and place the lid on the saucepan. Allow the mussels to steam for 3-4 minutes to allow the alcohol to cook off. Then remove the lid and check that all the mussels are cooked and have opened. Discard any mussel that have not opened.

Add double cream, fresh dill and cooked pasta and stir together. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To serve, place into a large bowl and sprinkle parsley.


To make perfect al dente pasta, bring water to a boil. Make sure that there is more than enough water to cover the dried pasta. When it reaches boiling point, add a generous amount of sea salt – we usually add a tablespoon of salt for 250g worth of dried pasta. Adding salt at this point seasons the pasta. Gently pour in the dried pasta to the boiling water and cook according to packet’s instructions. Stir the pasta occasionally to prevent them from sticking together. To test if the pasta is ready, taste it. It should have bite but without the starchy uncooked feeling. When it’s cooked to al dente, drain the pasta and retain some of the boiling liquid. Cool the pasta by running water or placing ice cubes to the hot pasta. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to prevent the cooked pasta from sticking together. You can use the boiled liquid by adding it to the sauce, if it gets dry.