In the last decade, the number of farm-raised mussels available at local markets has increased dramatically. And that’s a good thing when you’re craving them, considering what they cost.
Long-lining, the technique used to raise the mussels, has some great advantages. The mussels mature in two years, as opposed to seven in the wild. They have less grit and sand and rarely have “beards,” which makes cleaning them a whole lot easier. And because their shells are thinner, they have more meat per pound than wild mussels.
So maybe they aren’t so expensive after all, or so I like to think, when making a dish like this. Be sure to pick up a package of fresh linguine.