From, "Colorado Colore:...A Palate of Tastes," published in cooperation with your Daily Inbox Newsletter.


  • 16 to 18 littleneck clams, scrubbed

  • 16 to 18 mussels, scrubbed, debearded (green-lipped mussels preferred)

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 9 ounces fresh tagliatelle or linguini

  • Salt to taste

  • 6 Tablespoons commercially prepared pesto

  • 1/4 cup sliced drained oil-pack sun-dried tomatoes

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper

  • Black pepper to taste


Combine the clams, mussels and wine in a stockpot.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook, covered, for 7 minutes or until the shellfish open; discard any shellfish that do not open.  Remove the shellfish to a bowl with tongs, reserving the pan juices.  Cover the pan with foil.

Cook the pasta in boiling slated water in a saucepan until al dente.  Drain the pasta and return to the saucepan.  Add the reserved shellfish juices, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and red pepper to the pasta and mix gently.  Cook over medium heat just until the pesto coats the pasta, stirring frequently.  Season with salt and black pepper.  Divide the pasta mixture evenly between 4 bowls.  Top with the shellfish.  Serve immediately.

Basil pesto has a tendency to discolor quickly.  Adding a little parsley helps to keep the color green without distracting the basil flavor.

How to Clean Mussels:
Clean mussels just before cooking; once they've been debearded they will start to spoil.  Soak mussels in a large bowl of cool water, turning them over with your hands and scrubbing at the dirt on the shells with a hard-bristled brush.  Discard any opened mussels.  Rinse, change the water, and repeat, if necessary, until the grit is all gone.  Tug on the "beard" – the coarse string sticking out of the shell.  It should pull away easily.


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