Pasta with tomato mussel sauce

Those of you who know me, know that I am an addict of the LCBO “Food and Drink” magazine. The recipes are incredible. They are really easy to make, they’re affordable and most of all, they are flawless. I want to for once see an LCBO recipe fail. I have had other recipes fail; this, this is a sure thing. Being now away, I have to depend on the internets, and am not able to enjoy the glossy browse of the magazine, but oh well…. That still didn’t keep me from making the recipes! Nothing ever will! (and yes, this was an unpaid, unsolicited endorsement, but this is also a free magazine)

So, what I made yesterday, we are going to say is adapted from, only because I made an unforeseen “mistake”, which in the end did not hurt the taste. Also, I used bacon instead of pancetta as in the original recipe, cause, well that was to be had somewhere in the fridge. Another thing I use when some heat is required in a recipe, is I use a small amount either of sambal oelek and it works fine for me. You can put any other hot sauce, I guess or use a hot pepper as per the original recipe.

Again, what I made here is for one person, or one person and a half, or two people, depending on how hungry you are! The original recipe is for 4 people I believe, so I just again eye ball it to divide it and see how much I would need. Therefore, the odd leftovers. Unless I am baking, where I would need somewhat more precise measurements of the ingredients, I don’t worry so much when it comes to cooking. So, you can follow what I write here, or you can make your own judgement call and decide for yourselves how much you would like to use for your meal.

The recipe is originally called Penne Mussels Arrabbiata, but we won’t and can’t call it that, due to the changes I made. Besides, I am not sure how much of an arrabbiata sauce this was in the end.


1 cup (1 ½ cup) pasta (would work with any pasta!)

1 tbsp olive oil

a handful of chopped bacon

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp hot sauce (they originally use 1 hot red pepper, which you can as well, I am just using this sauce (sambal oelek) for the small kick it gives, & it saves me from buying little peppers every time)

¾ of a 400 gr can of tomatoes (chopped or whole, not stewed)

salt & pepper

1 cup frozen mussels (no shell)

1 tbsp chopped fresh (or frozen) parsley


1. Cook the pasta in a saucepan with boiling salted water, until al dente. Use lots of water, it helps cook it faster and you would have to stir less.

2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and when warm fry up the bacon. (Clearly, the original recipe here advises you to remove the bacon when it is crisp, but I completely forgot and left it in the pan and continued with the recipe. No major disaster happened.)

3. Add the onion and fry up for a few minutes. Then, add the garlic and the hot pepper, if you are using one.

4. Add the canned tomatoes, the hot sauce, if using, let it come to a boil, and after that lower the heat and let it simmer for some 10 minutes. (If you are using whole tomatoes, break them up as you remove the lid from time to time to stir)

5. Finally, add the mussels, stir, and cover again with a lid and let them thaw and cook for 10 minutes.

6. Add the chopped parsley and stir.

Et voilà ! Le dîner est prêt ! Bon appetit!


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