Marx Foods Recipe Contest: Pasta with Mussels, Scallops, and Porcini Mushrooms

I was recently given the opportunity to participate in a recipe contest using a variety of ingredients provided by Marx Foods. The items I received included a package of pasta, a small package of dried porcini mushrooms, a small portion of truffle salt, and a small portion of fennel pollen. My task was to create an original recipe using the pasta and at least one other ingredient. For my dish, I opted to use the porcini mushrooms and truffle salt in addition to the pasta. My inspiration for the following dish was the entree D most often orders at Italian restaurants -- pasta con frutte del mare (pasta with the fruits of the sea -- or as I like to call it, Little Mermaid in a bowl.) For the fruits of the sea, I opted to use fresh mussels and sea scallops. D and I made a special trip down to Fort Collins to pick up both of these items at Whole Foods. The mussels hail from Prince Edward Island (home of Anne of Green Gables!) and the sea scallops are from the US. Cooking both of these ingredients was new for me -- the closest I've gotten to cooking seafood prior to this meal was as an attendee at a cooking demonstration (which featured a linguini dish with clams) several years ago. But, I'm not one to back down from a challenge! In the end, though the timing was a bit of a dance (luckily D made an excellent sous chef) -- the end result was delicious.

Pasta with Mussels, Scallops, and Porcini Mushrooms (printer-friendly version)
makes two servings

For the mushrooms:
dried porcini mushrooms

1. Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a non-reactive bowl.
2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil.
3. Pour the boiling water over the mushrooms until they are submerged. Let sit for 20 minutes.

For the mussels: [Note, this makes a ton of mussels -- feel free to cook up less, just remember to adjust the other ingredients as well]
2 lbs Prince Edward Island mussels
3/4 cup chardonnay
1/4 cup mushroom broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

1. Check over the mussels. Discard any that are open. Gently scrub the remaining mussels and remove any remaining beards. Put them in a bowl and set aside.
2. In a large pot (that has a lid), melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add in the chopped onions and garlic and saute until softened, about one minute. Pour in the chardonnay and mushroom broth. Once the mixture begins to simmer, place the mussels in the pot. Cover and steam for about five minutes. Shake the pot a couple times while steaming.
3. After five minute has elapsed, check to make sure (the majority of) the mussels have opened. Remove from the heat.
4. Place a medium-sized bowl underneath a colander. Pour the broth out of the cooking pot and reserve. Place the lid back on the pot and set the mussels aside.

For the pasta:
1/2 package Garofalo Pappardelle Pasta

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. After the water begins to boil, add a generous amount of salt to the water.
2. Add the pasta to the water and cook for eight minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
3. Drain the water from the pasta, and place the pasta back in the cooking pot.

For the scallops:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 fresh sea scallops

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil.
2. Stir in the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add in the sea scallops. Cook for about two minutes per side, or until each side is lightly browned. Once browned, remove from the heat.

Put it all together:
reconstituted porcini mushrooms
prepared mussels
prepared scallops
cooked pasta
truffle salt

1. Use about 3/4 cup of the reserved mussel broth to deglaze the skillet in which the scallops were cooked. Let liquid cook down slightly. Add in the reconstituted porcini mushrooms.
2. Add in the pasta and toss until coated.
3. Plate the pasta. Add three sea scallops to each plate along with a handful of mussels in the shell. If preferred, remove the mussels from their shells before serving.
4. Lightly season each serving with truffle salt.
5. Mangia!

1 comment:

  1. Gonna try this one. Maybe eating Mussels will give me bigger Muscles too!


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