B.C. recipes: Mussels and kelp pappardelle, from sustainability advocate and chef Ned Bell

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      With everyone not only staying local but also being asked to support local industries, here’s a seafood recipe from a B.C. chef who is an advocate for using local ingredients, sustainability, and healthy waters.

      Ned Bell is a chef, keynote speaker, and educator, who is now the owner and chef at Naramata Inn in the Okanagan.

      In 2014, he founded Chefs for Oceans, which raises awareness about responsible seafood choices and maintaining the health of oceans, lakes, and waterways.

      He has served as Ocean Wise’s executive chef and the Vancouver Club’s culinary director; has been a Royal Canadian Geographical Society fellow and International Year of the Salmon chef ambassador; and is the author of Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the West Coast.

      This pasta dish is described as “rich, creamy, and full of umami, thanks to the kelp in the bright-green cream sauce and garnish”.

      While dehydrated bull or winged kelp can be found at health food stores, Bell advises to ask your fishmonger to source fresh curly kelp for you.

      “Once added to the sauce, it rehydrates to a spinach-like texture in less than a minute,” he says.

      This recipe, which serves four people, comes courtesy of Buy B.C., which helps to raise awareness about food and beverages grown or made in British Columbia. 

      Mussels and kelp pappardelle

      Kelp cream

      1/2 tablespoon canola oil

      1/2 shallot, finely chopped

      1 small clove garlic, finely chopped

      1 bird’s-eye chili, seeded and finely chopped

      1 1/2 cups whipping (33 percent) cream, plus extra if needed

      1 cup fresh kelp or 1/3 cup dried bull or winged kelp, rinsed (if dried, soak in warm water for 10 minutes)

      grated zest of 1/2 lime

      1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

      Sea salt, to taste

      Mussels and pappardelle

      • 3 pounds live mussels
      • 1 pound dried pappardelle or fettuccine
      • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
      • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
      • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
      • 1 shallot, finely chopped
      • 1/4 cup white wine
      • 3 tablespoon sliced fresh basil
      • 3 tablespoon dried crushed bull or winged kelp
      • grated zest and juice of 1 to 2 lemons
      • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

      Kelp cream

      • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add shallots and garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients except salt, bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for five minutes. Remove pan from heat and cool lightly.
      • Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Strain purée through a fine-mesh sieve. Thin out, if desired, with a little extra cream. Season to taste with salt. (Can be made ahead and refrigerated.)

      Mussels and pappardelle

      1. Put mussels in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Discard any that are open and won’t close when tapped or that have broken shells. Scrub off any debris and pull off beard. Keep chilled until needed.
      2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat and add pasta. Cook until al dente, according to manufacturer’s instructions.
      3. Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallots and sauté for five minutes, until tender and translucent. Pour in wine and bring to a boil.
      4. Add mussels, cover and cook two minutes, just until the shells open up. Discard any that don’t open. Add kelp cream and cook for another two minutes, until warmed through. Stir in basil, dried kelp, lemon zest and juice, and crushed red pepper (if using).
      5. Drain pasta and stir it into pan of mussels. Transfer to a large serving bowl and serve family style.
      Chef Ned Bell
      From Vancouver Eats: Signature Recipes from the City’s Best Restaurants by Joanne Sasvari. Reprinted with permission by Figure 1 Publishing.