Trav’s 'Mus­cle' Mad­ness

Camper Trailer Australia - - 10 - BUCK CHALLENGE -

When Borgy threw down the $10 tight-arse chal­lenge I headed straight to my favourite East Gipp­s­land hide­away. There’s a spot there near the en­trance, hid­den just below the surface where bar­na­cle en­crusted mus­sels grow wild on the an­cient rocks. They live in a cock­tail of wa­ter run­ning down from the Great Di­vid­ing Range, splash­ing in to the Tas­man Sea. They are the mag­i­cal in­gre­di­ent in my $10 chal­lenge. What’s more, they’re 100 per­cent free (not al­low­ing for the $30,000 boat I skip­pered to get there!). Any­way, this recipe was passed on by a salty old Ital­ian fish­er­man, so it’s guar­an­teed to be sim­ple yet flavour­some. PREPA­RA­TION Start with a large pot for the mus­sels and a smaller pot for the pasta. Add some wa­ter to the smaller pot and bring to boil, but don’t add the pasta yet. Sam­ple the wine. Brown the gar­lic and onion in the large pot with the oil, and then add the crushed toma­toes. Once mixed, add a glass of white wine, pop the lid on and sim­mer on low. Drink glass of wine. Time to add the pasta to the pot of now-boil­ing wa­ter. Sprin­kle some salt and olive oil into the pot so it looks like you know what you’re do­ing. Now chop the chili fine and throw in the red broth with all the mus­sels as well. You’ll wish you had a big­ger pot at this point. Give it the pep­per treat­ment and stir the mus­sels through. Have an­other glass of wine. Sim­mer un­til the mus­sels open – and then just enough for the meat to firm up a lit­tle bit (about 5 mins). Serve on top of the now cooked pasta with some pars­ley on top for ef­fect. Eat the closed ones. Mop up with some crusty bread if the bud­get al­lows! Fin­ish with a glass of wine if there’s any left.

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