Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fettucini and Mussels with a Saffron Sherry Creme

This recipe has a very elegant flavor! 
     I've cooked this recipe for a very wealthy clientele at a few yacht clubs.  Saffron and mussels are a classic flavor combination, especially when sherry is in the sauce.  This is a very nice French pasta entree! 
     Recipe:  The sauce can be made in the time that it takes to cook the pasta.  Fettucine takes 8 to 10 minutes to be cooked al dente.  Pasta can be cooked and cooled ahead of time, but it is always best when served quickly after it is cooked.
     Boil a portion of fettucini pasta in boiling water over high heat. 
     Heat a saute pan over medium high heat. 
     Add 2 pats of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 clove of minced garlic.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced shallot.
     Saute till the shallots turn clear. 
     Add a splash of shrimp broth. 
     Add 2 pinches of saffron.  (Rub the saffron between your fingers to crumble it.  Breaking the dried saffron flowers will release more flavor.) 
     Reduce the shrimp broth slightly. 
     Add a splash of sherry. 
     Reduce the sauce by half. 
     Add about 3/4 cup of cream.
     Add sea salt and white pepper. 
     Bring the cream to a boil.
     Add 8 to 10 fresh cleaned mussels in their shells. 
     When the mussels open remove them from the sauce. 
     Turn the temperature to medium/medium low heat.
     Remove the shells from all but 2 of the mussels.  (The two mussels in the shell will be the garnish.) 
     Return the shelled mussels and the 2 mussels that are in the shell to the sauce. 
     Reduce the cream sauce till it becomes a light medium sauce consistency. 
     By now the fettucini pasta shoul be cooked. 
     Drain the water from the fettucini pasta.
     Add the pasta to the sherry mussel saffron cream sauce.  
     Toss the pasta with the sauce.
     Use a chef's carving fork to plate the pasta and mussels.  (Push the 2 mussels that are in the shells aside.) 
     Pour the extra sauce over the pasta. 
     Set the 2 mussels in their shells on top of the pasta. 
     Yummy, simple and elegant!  This pasta has a very classic flavor!  This recipe is great to serve with a fine red or white wine.  I chose a French 2004 Bourgogne Mommessin Pinot Noir for this entree.  Fruity, full body flavors with a dry finish are what you want for a wine with a pasta like this.  Burgundy Region Pinot Noir is one of my favorite wines.  Yum!  ...  Shawna

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