Mussels are at their best in the colder months, with a deeper, sweeter flavour and omega-3 content almost as high as salmon. Creme fraiche adds luxury and comfort to big bowls of sweet-fleshed mussels tossed with risoni pasta, bacon and peas.
1kg mussels, scrubbed
150g risoni or small soup pasta
200g frozen peas
2 rashers bacon, diced
200ml white wine or cider
100g creme fraiche or cream
3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
cracked black pepper for serving
1. Rinse and debeard the mussels.
2. Cook risoni in simmering salted water for 8 minutes or until al dente, drain and set aside. Cook the peas in simmering salted water for 1 minute, drain and set aside. Fry the bacon in a small pan until crisp and set aside.
3. Bring the wine to the boil in a large lidded pan over high heat. Add the mussels, cover, and cook for 2 minutes. Give the pan a good shake, then remove any opened mussels to a lidded bowl, to keep warm. Cover pan again and cook for a further 1 minute, removing mussels as soon as they open.
4. Add the risoni, peas, creme fraiche, sea salt and pepper to the cooking juices remaining in the pan and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring, until hot. Return the mussels to the pan, scatter with bacon, parsley and pepper, toss once or twice, and serve in warm pasta bowls.
If you like this recipe, try Jill Dupleix's green Thai curry mussels with cashew crumb.
Tip: Look out for pot-ready mussels that have been scrubbed, debearded and rinsed, ready for the pot.