Weekend Wine Pairing: Mussels alla Diavola with…

My first experience eating mussels was with a few friends after a long day at the beach. We popped into this hazy seafood shack, grabbed a few beers, and ordered a bucket of the mysterious black shelled surprise. I remember being skeptical at first, but I was willing to try them. Although we got some sandy ones (crunch crunch)…I rolled with it and actually enjoyed the experience.

Don’t fear the fleshy substance in the shiny black shell, it’s actually quite delicious. In fact, cook them into something. Here’s a delicious seafood paella…

Mussels alla Diavola Recipe
(credit: yummly.com)


  • 12 garlic cloves, minced (1/3 cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in purée
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup drained bottled capers (1 1/4 oz)
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives (3 oz), pitted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1 lb dried linguine
  • 3 lb mussels (preferably cultivated), cleaned (see cooks’ note, below)


  • Cook garlic and red pepper flakes in oil in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes
  • Add tomatoes with purée, tomato paste, herbs, capers, olives, and wine and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes, until sauce is thick, about 15 minutes
  • Cook linguine in a 6- to 8-quart pot of

Added bonus
(credit cookinghow.com)

To make this into a full meal, I tossed in some linguine and served it with grilled, garlicy bread for dipping. To make the bread, simply take thick slices of crusty bread and brush with extra virgin olive oil. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat and grill the bread slices until they are golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Cut a large garlic clove in half and rub the cut-side of the garlic over the hot, grilled bread. Sprinkle with Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper and you’ll have the perfect dipping agent to accompany the linguine & mussels alla diavola!

What Wine Goes With Mussels alla Diavola?

  • Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, or Viognier


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