This an original recipe. Patty said, “can you make us something with these muscles?” This is what I came up with!

Muscles Fantasico


Yields 4 Modest servings

I use a digital kitchen scale, and have found metric measure to be much easier to manage, so I use grams whenever I can. It’s more accurate and easier to expand a recipe for more servings!

8 oz Shelled Mussels (I use cooked, shelled ready to serve, but fresh is fine if you lightly steam then in advance.)

Chop all the following in a small food processor:

  • 35 Grams Garlic
  • 30 Grams Capers
  • 15 Grams Provence Olives
  • 12 Grams pure Dried Pineapple

More ingredients:

  • 3 Grams Orange Zest
  • Some really good Olive Oil
  • 125 ML Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA (Beer)
  • IMPORTANT: Drink the rest of the IPA
  • 1 Nip bottle Grand Marnier (50 ML) (Option 2: Buy a big bottle, pour 50 ml for the recipe and another 50 ml in a glass for you while you cook.)
  • 1 tbsp Corn Starch (for thickening)
  • 3 tbsp Asiago Cheese (fresh grated)
  • 100 Grams Fresh Spinach
  • 6 oz Dry Corkscrew Pasta (mixed veggie flavored is really good.) I use Organic Wheat Free Gluten Free Rice Vegetable Twists from Mrs. Leepers

Have all your ingredient ready in bowls like this.

Muscles Fantastico Ingredients

Cooking Instructions:

  • Start to Boil water for the pasta.
  • Heat a large skillet over med low heat (3 on my electric range)while the water heats up.
  • At the same time Simmer the IPA Beer and Grand Marnier over med low heat until reduced to 1/2 a cup. Once it’s reduced, thoroughly blend in the cornstarch and set it aside.

You’ll need about 8 minutes for the following so start your pasta in time for it to be ready when you finish the good stuff!

  • Add the pasta to the boiling water

Start the next steps when there are 8 minutes left on the pasta.

  • Add olive oil to a large pre heated fry pan, covering the bottom.

Note: Never preheat your cooking oil. An easy to remember rule is “hot pan cold oil!”


  • Add Garlic, shake and swirl it out flat in the pan.
  • When just starting to brown (about 2 minutes), Add dried pineapple and orange zest
  • Saute mixture until the garlic is very light Brown. (about 2 more minutes if your heat is right.)
  • Add the olives and spinach and toss the mixture until spinach is limp (about 2 to 3 minutes)
  • Add the capers
  • Stir in wine reduction and corn starch.
  • Add the asiago cheese and stir thoroughly.
  • Turn down the heat to low and simmer for about 2 minutes
  • At 8 minutes toss in muscles
  • Drain and rinse the pasta toss for a minute over the heat
  • Pour into serving bowl.
  • Top with fresh grated Asiago Cheese and serve.

Recommended Side dishes:

A side salad of Mesclun greens, some chopped almonds, sunflower seeds and a raspberry vinaigrette.

And a Hearty sourdough bread slice!

Make enough for leftovers because it’s even better after a night in the fridge!

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