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Linguine with Mussels

 Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table’s All Round Good Grinder Blend

The Salt Table’s All Round Good Grinder Blend is, as its name suggests, great with almost anything, and is very nice with seafood. It’s a great shortcut to flavor in this classic pasta sauce. Other Salt Table blends that would also be great in this sauce are Pride Blend, Southern Italian Blend, and Tybee Island Coastal Blend.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 dozen live mussels
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • About 2 teaspoons of Salt Table’s All Round Good Grinder Blend, freshly ground
    Salt Table Himalayan Pink, or Halle Salt
  • 12 ounces (¾ of a 1 pound box) linguine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley, optional
  • 2 tablespoons freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus ½ cup for serving

How to make it:

  1. Scrub mussels under cold running water. Cover with cold water and let soak a few minutes. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rapid boil.
  2. Meanwhile, put the oil and shallot in a 3-quart saucepan and sauté over medium high heat until it’s colored pale gold, tossing often. Add the garlic and hot pepper sauté ½ minute. Add the wine and 2 teaspoons of Pride Blend, bring to boil, and simmer 2-3 minutes. Drain and add mussels. Cover and cook until the mussels pop open, removing them to bowl as they open.
  3. When all the mussels are opened, adjust the heat to medium. Shuck the mussels, discarding their shells, and add their accumulated juices to the pan. Boil the cooking liquid until it has evaporated by half. Turn off the heat.
  4. When the pot of water is boiling, stir in a small handful of salt and the pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, using the package directions as rough guide. When pasta is almost done, reheat sauce over medium heat and when bubbling add mussels. Gently toss until hot through. Taste and adjust the Pride Blend and turn off heat.
  5. When the pasta is done, immediately drain and transfer it to a warm bowl. Add the sauce, butter, cheese and parsley (if using) and toss well. Serve immediately, passing more cheese separately.

#1 Salt Table All Round Good Grinder Blend is the best all purpose seasoning blend

Southern Italian Meatballs & Marinara Sauce


Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table’s Southern Italian Grinder Blend

Seasoning traditional Italian-style meatballs is a cinch with The Salt Table’s Southern Italian Blend. Although spaghetti and meatballs are a standard weeknight meal in our country, meatballs are not served as a pasta sauce in Italy. These can be used Italian-style, as a meat dish, or American-style as a pasta sauce or hot sandwich filling

 

Serves 4-6 (makes about 20 meatballs)

INGREDIENTS:

For the meatballs:

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup dry red wine such as merlot or pinot noir
  • 4 cups marinara sauce (good bottled or Southern Italian Marinara, recipe following)
  • Salt (for the pasta, if using)
  • 12-16 ounces spaghetti, thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta, for serving, optional
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving optional

HOW TO MAKE

  1. Put the bread in a mixing bowl and drizzle enough milk over it to saturate it. Let it soak for a minute, then squeeze it dry, discarding the milk. Crumble the bread into the bowl. Crumble in the beef and add the onion. Season well with Southern Italian Blend and mix until everything is evenly blended. Moisten your hands with water and form the meat into 1½-inch balls.
  2. Put enough oil in a 3-4 quart Dutch oven to cover the bottom by ¼-inch and put it over medium heat. When it’s hot, raise the heat to medium high, add enough meatballs to fill the pan without crowding, and brown them on all sides, about 3 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon to a plate and repeat until all the meatballs have been browned.
  3. Drain and discard the browning oil and wipe out the pan, but don’t wash it. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the onion and return the pot to medium heat. Sauté, stirring often, until the onion is softened and golden, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about half a minute, then pour in the wine. Bring it to a boil and cook until it loses its sharp alcoholic aroma. Add in the marinara, bring it to a simmer, and simmer about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the meatballs to the sauce, bring it back to a simmer, and adjust the heat to a slow, steady simmer. Simmer until the sauce is thick and the meatballs are very tender and deeply flavored with the sauce, at least 1 hour—longer won’t hurt.
  5. The meatballs can be served as a meat dish, on toasted sandwich rolls as a sandwich filling, or as a sauce for pasta. To serve the meatballs with pasta, bring 4 quarts water to a rolling boil. Stir in a small handful of salt and the pasta, bring it back to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente (firm to the bite), using the package directions as a rough guide. Drain and toss with a cup of sauce, then serve topped with meatballs, passing the cheese separately.

Basic “Southern Italian” Marinara

  • You can use a jar of marinara for the above recipe, (they’re right at 4 cups) or make your own: it’s easy with The Salt Table’s Southern Italian Grinder Blend. Southern Italian Blend has garlic powder in it, so you can omit the fresh garlic, although it freshens the flavor.

Makes about 4 cups

  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced, optional
  • 2 25-ounce cans crushed Italian plum tomatoes
  • Southern Italian Grinder Blend

HOW TO MAKE

  1. Put the oil and onion in a 3-4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté until the onion is pale gold, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, if using, and sauté until fragrant, about half a minute.
  2. Add the tomatoes and season well with Southern Italian Blend. Bring it to a boil, then adjust the heat to a slow, steady simmer, and let it cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and the flavors are well-blended, about half an hour.

Southern Italian Grinder Blend