Tonight, it being the wonderful Feast of the mighty St. Joseph, it seemed that a somewhat different supper was appropriate. And yet it is a Friday, so I opted for seafood.
I had thought about some mussels and I remembered a great plate I had in Venice some years ago with bell pepper and tomatoes.
It being the time it is, there were no fresh mussels at the store.
However, the freezer case had some.
I’ve never tried frozen mussels, but they were less than $4! I wound up cracking this in half and vacuum sealing some for the future. The other half went into a pan. They were already cooked, so I was pretty careful not to over cook. As they warmed they re-opened. The vacuum packing had compressed them.
The mise en place. I had been given black, squid ink, pasta last Christmas.
Having dumped the mussels in another dish, I reduced the cooking liquid they came in and, with oil and a slosh of wine sauteed green onion, garlic, cherry tomatoes, strips of pepper. A while later I added sweet peas.
Once the noodles were ready, I cranked the heat up, recombined, distributed over the pasta, and tossed a chiffonade of fresh basil.
Yes, it was really good. The mussels worked well.
I don’t know how much the pasta cost, since it was a gift. But I have sometimes bought it in the past and it not in any way prohibitive. As far as the rest of the ingredients are concerned, this preparation was remarkably economical. A handful of frozen peas, a couple of green onions, a few small cloves of garlic, some cherry tomatoes. A lemon. Some know how. Easy and within the reach even of a tight budget. Being on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to eat bad food. Moreover, it doesn’t give any glory or gratitude to God to take his gifts and make lousy meals from them.
Having company would have made this a great deal more enjoyable. This too shall pass.