A Pinch of Leftovers: Mussel Linguine

Mussel Linguine

Over a few pinches of wine and our PBR Steamed Mussels, my friends and I began an informal yet helpful sort of focus group re: A Pinch of This. I had noticed how many leftover mussels there would be (note: a pound and a half of mussels plus hearty bread feeds three twenty-five year old gals no problem…you probably don’t need to cook four pounds of mussels) and began planning what to do with the leftovers. From that little discussion came the idea to post about what I make with my leftovers.

Some leftovers are unremarkable. Sometimes you just have to reheat exactly what you had and be done with it. It still may be tasty, but you might not have time or energy to transform it into something else. That’s me, most of the time. However, some leftovers lend themselves extraordinarily well to creating a whole new meal. Take, for example, two extra pounds of steamed mussels. Heat them up, cook some linguine, mix them together with a few extra pantry staples and BOOM, you have another great meal.

This is something new I’ll try to do each time I find myself with leftovers with promise – I’ll fill you in on what I did to transform them in case you find yourselves in a similar situation.

This recipe uses leftovers from those PBR Steamed Mussels in my last post, as well as leftover ingredients and a few ingredients found in my pantry and refrigerator. The flavor of the mussels improved after two days in the refrigerator, much to my delight. A very lucky circumstance for my first leftovers post.

A few disclaimers:

This is a work in progress, an idea being developed. Leftovers are, by their nature, often a slapdash effort for when we’re short on time. So please excuse the lack of pictures of gathered ingredients and gracefully placed utensils in this post and potential future leftover posts. Also, I sometimes lack forethought, and I’ve just ended up with even more leftovers… This linguine could feed me for days, but it probably won’t be good for that long. Sheesh, troubleshooting is hard.

I do promise though, I’ll only post leftover transformations that I think are worth putting together. Here goes!

I was feeling rather carb indulgent after a serious work out...I promise.

I was feeling rather carb indulgent after a serious work out…I promise.

Mussel Linguine

Serves: 4-6 people


Approximately 2 lbs leftover mussels, with liquid

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

An extra half of a kielbasa sausage, roughly chopped

1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced

2 splashes of half&half, light cream, heavy cream, or whole milk

1 lb linguine

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pecorino cheese, to serve


  1. Bring a pot of water (about 6 quarts or a large pot ¾ full) to a rolling boil. Salt it generously once it reached a rolling boil.
  2. While the water comes to a boil, heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the kielbasa and after a minute or two, add the garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the mussels and their liquid. Stir for a minute or two, cover the pan, and turn the heat to low. Don’t mind the extra steaming.
  4. Once you’ve added the linguine to the water, follow the package instructions for cooking and add your splashed of cream to the mussels in the sauté pan. Stir around and cover again.
  5. Before draining the pasta, collect about half a cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta, put it back in the pot and add your mussels and their liquids. Add the reserved cooking water, salt and pepper, and stir.
  6. Serve in a shallow bowl with a light grating of pecorino and enjoy.

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