In the meantime though I don't miss any opportunity to sit in the garden and enjoy a glimpse of sun. This lunch we put together at the last minute opened a window onto a luminous pier we were strolling along this time last year in Liguria, enjoying the singing of the seagulls and the screams of children running for their third ice cream of the day.
Linguine con le cozze is a "must" in our family in the Summer. And it is not the mussels cooked in the French style; oh no, they are as simple as possible with just those few ingredients that enhance the smell and taste of salt and sea. I can almost hear the waves crushing against the rocks.
The best thing of this dish is its versatility. Cooked as a starter can then be used to dress your pasta to make a fantastic first course.
For 4 people
2 handful of parsley
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon cut into quarters
3-4 tbsp olive oil
Of course the key is in the freshness of the mussels. And if they don't open when you cook them in the pan, just throw them away, you don't want to get poisoned.
Clean the little black fellows - if your fishmonger hasn't done that for you - with a knife or hard sponge and place them in a reasonably deep pot with the lid.
Add the lemon wedges, garlic, chilly, chopped parsley and oil to the pan.
With the lid closed, simmer for 5-7 minutes until the mussels have opened and absorbed some of the juice. You will see that they release more juice - which will create that fantastic sauce to either mop your bread in or pan fry your pasta.
Let's hope for more sun. I dread Winter....