recipe: rao’s spaghetti with mussels marinara

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As a 20-something it’s rare to see “hosting a dinner party” as a line item on your personal budget sheet. Wait scratch that. As a 20-something it’s rare to see a personal budget sheet but it is an uncommon occurrence that throwing a dinner party take precedence over rent and dare I say…shoes!

Not only can hosting a soiree be expensive, it’s time consuming, and stressful. This is why we opt for the convenience of saki bombing over sushi for 40 bucks a person. What if you could take that $40 and serve 10 people a fairly easy recipe? People bring things to a dinner party. The bottles of wine, flowers, cupcakes and if you’re lucky, a really awesome coffee table book (maybe a bit used but hey, at least they scrounged something up) would basically, make your event cash flow positive.

Friends, I give to you the forty-buck recipe that is bound to fill your wine rack: ‘Rao’s Spaghetti with Mussels Marinara!’

Thanks to the sampling capital of the world, Costco (can we also talk about the $1.50 hot dogs?), I scored 5 lb bags of fresh mussels for $10 each. Add a hand full of other ingredients, an hour or so of your time, a really killer dress and viola!

How to: Rao’s Spaghetti with Mussels Marinara

You will need:
Β½ cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
3 pounds mussels, cleaned
2 (28-ounce) cans imported Italian plum tomatoes, hand crushed with the juice
Β½ teaspoon oregano
Β½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp is adequate)
Salt to taste
10-12 leaves fresh basil
1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

1. When you go to purchase your mussels ensure that the pick tag is dated back no longer than seven days. Clean your musels by running under cold water.

2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, add the garlic, and saute for 1 minute.

3. Add the mussels and saute’ until they open (discard any that do not open).

4. Stir in the tomatoes. Add the oregano, black pepper, red pepper flakes, salt to taste, and the basil.

5. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain and place on a heated serving platter.
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7. Pour the mussels and sauce over the spaghetti and garnish with parsley.

I made it for the entire fam of Memorial weekend and was definitely “the fc” (the favorite child) for days to come. I mean, look how happy, proud and adorable my Nonnie is. Love you, Non! xo
Photos taken by me. Recipe from Rao’s.

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  1. I love Costco πŸ™‚ especially filling myself up on all the free samples! Oh man I’ve been ona crazy seafood binge. I had oysters all day yesterday and shrimp the day before that. Now I want crab legs!!


  2. OMG! your are an amazing cook, now that is a talent I was not blessed with, nor do I have the patience to build up! πŸ˜‰


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