Jack cheese is added along with the half-and-half to temper the mixture and prevent curdling. Use only a top-quality chardonnay or other wine you'd want to drink; it will make a big difference in the sauce.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped green onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Chardonnay or other dry white wine
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups chopped spinach
6 cups hot cooked capellini or angel hair (about 12 ounces uncooked pasta)
How to Make It
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, onions, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add wine and mussels; cover and cook for 5 minutes or until mussels open. Discard any unopened shells. Remove mussels from pan with a slotted spoon; cool. Remove meat from mussels; set aside. Discard shells.
Add the cheese, half-and-half, salt, and black pepper to pan; reduce heat, and cook 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Stir in mussels, and cook for 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Combine the mussel mixture, spinach, and pasta, tossing well.
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