Mussels with Vodka Tomato Cream, Pine Nuts and Bucatini

Mussels with Vodka Tomato Cream, Pine Nuts and Bucatini


Serves: 4


  • 1 pound mussels, thawed*
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 14 oz can of whole peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound bucatini
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • Salt and pepper to taste
To Garnish
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Torn fresh basil leaves



  • To thaw mussels, place them in a colander. Reserve the juice.


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. When cooked, drain the pasta and reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
  • Place a sauce pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the butter. When it foams add the onions, garlic and a good pinch of salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the onions are soft.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add the canned tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the cream and reserved mussel juice and bring it to a simmer.
  • Add the sauce to a blender and process until smooth (be careful when blending hot ingredients).
  • Pour the blended contents back into the pan and add the vodka and mussels. Bring the sauce to a simmer and adjust the seasoning and consistency with salt, pepper and reserved pasta water.
  • Toss pasta and sauce together and divide among four heated bowls. Each serving should yield about six mussels.


  • Garnish with pepper flakes and torn basil leaves.