In The Seashore Issue, we took a trip to the Oregon coast, where we met up with a few of our friends (Portland chefs Johanna Ware, Johnny Leach, and Joshua McFadden) and took a Goonies-themed adventure: visiting the key sites where the movie was filmed, riding THE REAL JEEP from the movie right on the beach, and cooking food that honored both The Goonies and all of the seashore-y abundance of the Pacific Northwest. Joshua McFadden, of the Portland restaurant Ava Gene’s, made this dish on a portable stove out on the street in Astoria, Oregon, and we shot it on every surface possible in our hostel—on the floors of our room, other people’s rooms, closets, bathrooms, carpets, the cement outside—all while dragging around that huge clanking chain. Nobody seemed to care, or even notice.
If you can’t find some of these ingredients, don’t sweat it. Any sort of whole grain linguine will work, and it will still taste good without the fir tips. Both sea lettuce and arugula are delicious; use what you’ve got. But make sure to cook your pasta just shy of al dente, so that it can finish cooking in that sea-beer goodness without getting too soft.
Toasted Farro Linguine with Wild Mussels, Rainier, Fir Tips, Wild Watercress, and Sea Lettuce
Makes 4 servings
2 dozen mussels
+ extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1 pound farro linguine
3 big pinches red chili flake
2 handfuls fir tips, when in season
½ can Rainier (or your local cheap beer equivalent) + extra for drinking
2 tablespoon butter
1 bunch scallions, sliced
2 handfuls watercress, preferably wild (if it’s small, add more as it will wilt down)
a handful parsley leaves, torn
a handful sea lettuces (or sub arugula, bibb lettuce, or anything green and delicious)
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs, toasted
1. If you get all the ingredients together ahead of time, this recipe should be on the table by the time you finish one can of Rainier. Bring a big pot of water to a boil and salt aggressively—it should taste like the sea. Meanwhile, scrub and de-beard the mussels under cold water.
2. Get a large sauté pan nice and hot and add two tablespoons of olive oil. Smash the garlic cloves with your hand and toss them into the hot oil. Do not burn the garlic. Remove from the heat if you’re in danger of doing so. Use the back of a spoon to smash the garlic into the oil.
3. Cook the pasta in the boiling salted water for 1 to 2 minutes fewer than what the package says. Stir often to prevent clumping.
4. Once the garlic is toasted but, again, not burned, add the chili flakes, mussels, and fir tips. Toss for 10 seconds, then pour in a ½ can of Rainier and cover with a lid. After a minute, the mussels should begin to open up. When most of them have opened, carefully pull them out with a spoon and set aside, doing your best to drain the sweet mussel liquor into the pan as you pull each mussel. If the pan looks particularly dry (there should be about a 1/8” of liquid), add more beer.
5. If all has gone according to plan, your pasta should be finishing just as you reach this step. Drain the pasta and add to the mussel pan, along with the butter. Coat the noodles with buttery sea-beer goodness, taste, and adjust seasoning. If it needs salt, add a splash of pasta water. If it needs spice, add more chili flakes.
6. Toss in the scallions, watercress, parsley, and lettuce. Toss and give it a squirt of fresh lemon. Remove from the heat, and hit with a glug of olive oil. Add back the cooked mussels, mix, garnish with breadcrumbs, and serve.
Photos by David Reamer
a member of your beloved watery love (and his name was- me!) made a variation of this and it was killer