Monday, January 3, 2011

cavatelli with mussels, lillet and dill

This dish looked so refreshingly perfect on the pages of Food & Wine this month that I couldn't help but share it with you. The cavatelli (which look suspiciously like cannellini beans) and mussels are tossed with a touch of crème fraîche just before serving and then topped with a few thoughtful dill fronds. It suggests thoughts of warmer weather while appropriately maintaining a comfort dish status. And with grapefruit zest making an optional appearance, you can guarantee this will be an awfully impressive but conveniently easy dish to present to the table. For one or four. Oh, and mussels? They're the hottest deal of 2011.

Cavatelli with Mussels, Lillet and Dill
Recipe Courtesy of Kerry Heffernan for Food & Wine
Serves 4

2 pounds mussels, scrubbed
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 dill sprigs, plus 1 tablespoon chopped dill
1/4 cup Lillet or dry vermouth
3/4 cup crème fraîche
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely grated grapefruit zest (optional)
12 ounces fresh cavatelli
Freshly ground pepper

1. In a large saucepan, combine the mussels, wine, dill sprigs and 2 tablespoons of the Lillet and bring to a boil. Cover and steam until the mussels open, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mussels to a bowl and strain the juices into a medium bowl. Remove the mussels from their shells; discard any mussels that don't open. Rinse out the saucepan.

2. Return the juices to the saucepan and simmer until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Stir in the crème fraîche, shallot and the lemon and grapefruit zests.

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until nearly al dente; drain. Add the pasta to the saucepan along with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Lillet. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. Stir in the mussels and chopped dill and season the pasta with pepper. Serve right away.

Wine Pairing: Briny, crisp Muscadet (2008 Michel Delhommeau Cuvée St. Vincent Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie)

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails