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Mussels in White Sauce

Mussels in White Sauce

Mussels in White Sauce

There was a time when Mussels in White Sauce were all the buzz on where to find the ‘Best’ in the Philly region with particular attention to those smaller joints sprinkled throughout the tightly woven streets of South Philadelphia and then in the summer along the Jersey shore.

Among many ‘Best Mussels in White Sauce’ commonly meant who made the tastiest garlicky, spicy, intoxicating scented liquor simmered then served in big bowls alongside round, brown wicker baskets piled high with crusty Italian bread slices for ravenous dipping and soaking up the juices all between working ones way through the black, shiny, oval mollusks with big plump interiors. 


An amazing feature of Italian style Mussels in White Sauce is how just a few simple ingredients combined together form such a complexity of flavors.

It’s completely versatile too, for you can adjust as much garlic and hot pepper flakes as you like to scale the intensity up or down. Really, if you follow the basic ingredient format, practically anything you do, you can’t ruin it. 

A fun meal to share around the table with friends and family most any season of the year, a little wine, and lots and lots of crusty Italian bread piled high for dipping and soaking up the garlicky, spicy, intoxicating scented full flavored juices all enhance the flavor profile when it comes to cooking up a pot of the best around Mussels in White Sauce.

Mussels in White Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Category: Pasta-Rice-Grains, Fish

Cuisine: Italian

Servings: 6 bowls

Mussels in White Sauce


  • 5 pounds mussels
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1-3 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 750 ml. bottle white wine
  • 3- eight ounce jars clam juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 pound fettuccine


  1. Clean mussels, remove side beards, rinse, keep iced and chilled until cooking time
  2. Cook fettuccine in salted boiling water to al dente, drain, toss with a tablespoon of olive oil
  3. Heat a heavy, large sized pot with a fitted lid on very low temperature
  4. Add three tablespoons olive oil
  5. Sprinkle in the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook until garlic is softened, around 2 minutes
  6. Pour in the white wine, raise temperature to medium high heat, cook wine in garlic mixture for three minutes, pour in clam juice, continuing cooking until mixture is boiling
  7. Tumble in the mussels, stir throughout the pot mixing with the liquid then immediately cover with the lid
  8. Give pot a good shake after a few minutes and continue cooking for another 5 minutes
  9. Remove lid, stir, if all of the mussels have opened, reduce heat to low and simmer another few minutes, if not, continue cooking for another few minutes before simmering
  10. Line a large serving platter with cooked, drained fettuccine, top with mussels and sauce from the pot, serve straight away with lots of crusty bread for dipping

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