If you love Bloody Marys, put together the sharp tastes of vodka, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce to complement the fresh mussels and orzo, turning a weeknight meal into a culinary delight.

Serves: 8 Prep. time: 20′ Cooks in: 40′ Ready in: 60′

1 kg fresh mussels
400 g orzo
24 large cherry tomatoes, halved
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2-3 tsp Tabasco
100 ml vodka
½ cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt

Step 1
Wash the mussels in running water, discarding any open ones or with cracked shells. Pull and scrape off the beards and remove any barnacles stuck to the mussels. Rinse again and place in a deep pot on medium heat with a a little water for 4-5 min until open. Discard any closed mussels. Drain reserving the liquid.

Step 2
Bake cherry tomatoes with salt and 3 tbsp olive oil in a baking dish lined with parchment at 200°C for 15 min. Allow to cool and blend in your blender with vodka, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and remaining oil.

Step 3
Cook orzo al dente in a pan with water and reserved mussels’ liquid. Transfer in a deep frying pan. Stir in bloody Mary sauce and mussels on medium heat for 2-3 min. until liquid has evaporated but not completely. Sprinkle oozy orzo with basil leaves and serve on dishes or martini glasses.

Photo: George Drakopoulos, Food styling: Tina Webb

Και η συνταγή στα ελληνικά: Κριθαράκι με μύδια bloody Mary