STEAMED MUSSELS W/ PANCETTA & LEMON

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serves 4 appetizer sized portions, 2 full servings
2 lbs. mussels
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped *
3/4 c. diced pancetta
1/2 c. white wine
1/3 c. chicken stock (or fish stock)
3/4 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 c. chopped parsley
juice of one lemon
zest of one lemon
1/2 c. cooked broken pasta (or any small pasta you prefer)

First, clean the mussels. Put them in a bowl or in the sink with cold water & scrub the shells. Rinse with clean water & scrub again. Fill a big pot or your kitchen sink, with water & 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Add the mussels & let them soak for about 20 minutes. This will help them eliminate the sand. When they’re clean, put them in the refrigerator until ready to use

In a medium size pot, heat the olive oil & brown the garlic, shallot & pancetta. Once they are nice & golden, add the lemon juice, wine & stock. Bring to a simmer then add the mussels & the tomatoes. Cover the pot & let the mussels steam for about 15-20 minutes or until they all open. Discard any mussels that remain closed. Mix in the pre-cooked pasta & parsley. Pour into serving dish & zest the lemon on top.

*DIVA NOTE: I don’t like to chop garlic, I feel it over powers food. I like to cut the clove in half & brown it. This way I can take it out of the dish before serving. There’s nothing worse that chopping on garlic. (At least to me)

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