Recipe courtesy of Juliana Malfitano

Spaghetti with Garlic Mussels in Black Olive Sauce

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Black Olive Sauce

1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth

1 small shallot, chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives

1/2 cup pitted oil-cured olives

2 tablespoons capers

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

2 cloves garlic

Garlic Muscles


1 pound spaghetti

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, chopped

Pinch smoked paprika

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1 pound mussels, cleaned

1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano


  1. For the sauce: In a saucepan set over medium heat cook the wine and shallots until the liquid reduces by half. Add the cream and simmer until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat.
  2. Place the kalamata olives, oil-cured olives, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, anchovy paste and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until just smooth, but still a little chunky.
  3. Combine the cream sauce and olive sauce.
  4. For the mussels: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
  5. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, cook the garlic in the olive oil until just brown. Add the paprika and pepper flakes. Add the mussels. Add the wine and cook to reduce by half. Add the lemon juice, then cover and cook until the mussels open. Throw away any mussels that don't open. Reserve the mussels and cooking liquid for later use.
  6. While the mussels cook, boil the pasta to al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Stir in the butter, parsley and oregano. Toss the spaghetti with the olive sauce, and then spoon some mussels on top with some of the cooking liquid and serve. 

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